By Stanley Onyekwere
The Federal Capital Terriory Administration (FCTA) yesterday commenced vaccination of members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), FCT Chapter, with a view to enhance public confidence on the vaccine.
Flagging off the exercise at the NUJ Secretariat in Utako, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, said the administration considered it neccessary to vaccinate journalists, because they are part of the frontline workers.
Represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Strategic Communications, Malam Abubakar Sani, Bello noted that the vaccination of journalists would serve as living testimonies to some Nigerians who are skeptical about it.
He noted that the vaccine is a normal routine vaccine to help boost immune system to protect people from contracting COVID-19 virus.
“ We considered it neccessary to initiate this process of vaccinating members of the fourth estate of the ream because journalists are indeed frontline workers.
“ The FCT Administration consider the relationship between the NUJ and the administration as a very productive and strong relationship.
“ It is in the realisation of the fact that journalists who reports day-to-day activities that are happening in the society are exposed to the dangers of COVID-19.
“ Some of them even go to the COVID-19 Treatment and Isolation centres to get testimonies from people infected with the COVID-19 virus,” the Minister stated.
Similarly, the Acting Secretary, FCTA Health and Human Services Secretariat, Dr Kawu Mohammed, noted that partnership with media professional was a collaboration that every service provider required.
On his part, the FCT NUJ Chairman, Comrade Emmanuel Ogbeche, said vaccination of journalists would speak more than any advocacy carried out by the government before.
Ogbeche adds: “Because journalists will attest if the vaccine have any side effects, understand what the issues are and give feedback to the public.”
He revealed that over 120 journalists in Abuja registered to take the vaccine, adding that more journalists would be turning out for the exercise.
He used the occasion to thanked the minister for all his support to FCT NUJ, saying” we hope that together we can fight COVID-19.”
Not left out, the Chairperson, National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) Anne Daniel, expressesed readiness of the association to sensitise women on the importance of taking the vaccination.
The highpoint of the exercise was the administration of COVID-19 vaccine to the FCT NUJ Chairman, and the Chairperson of NAWOJ and other journalists from various media organisations in the Territory.