By Stanley Onyekwere
The FCT Administration would not force any resident to take the vaccination against the spread of COVID-19, according to the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu.
The Minister, who made the assertion at an emergency meeting with traditional rulers in the Territory, however reiterated the need to ensure that residents fully participate in the exercise.
Aliyu disclosed that the Area Councils in conjunction with the FCT Primary Healthcare Board have concluded plans to flag off the vaccination at the Area Council on Monday (today), assuring that vaccines are available for residents to take their jabs.
While calling on graded chiefs to support government efforts in the sensitization of residents, noted that vaccination certificate has become a required travel document.
She used the occasion to commend President Muhammadu Buhari and the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for demonstrating exemplary leadership by taking their jabs, noting that the vaccination is not a death sentence as being speculated in some quarters.
“We hold the traditional institution in high esteem because you are the custodian of the people and our fathers. Now the issue of vaccination is a burning issue in Nigeria.
“As we are all aware, Mr. President has taken his jab and the Vice President too has taken. But we are also mindful that we are not going to lord it over anybody or force it down on anyone’s throat.
“And that is why we are here as a family to discuss and hear also from you and you have an opportunity to convey this message to your followers. You have sufficient time to digest the decision you are about to take not because it is suicide mission.
“Mr. President has demonstrated leadership quality by taking the jab, that goes a long way to show that he loves his people and he is ready to take the bullet first. Also in the FCT, the Honourable Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello took his jab, and I after this meeting will take mine”, she stressed.
She, however, commended the traditional rulers for taking responsibility in difficult issues such as the current vaccination, noting that most prominent Nigerians either shy away from discussions or fail to take responsibility.
On his part, Chairman FCT Traditional Council of Chiefs and the Ona of Abaji, HRM Dr. Adamu Baba Yunusa, commended the present FCT Administration for inclusive governance, and called on the Area Council Chairmen to emulate the ministers.
The monarch therefore assured the Minister that her message would be taken to the various chiefdoms for effective communication.