The Delta State Government has spoken of the alleged forceful vaccination of pupils in schools in parts if the South East and South-South zones of the country.
Parents were said to have hurriedly withdrawn their wards from schools in parts of the old eastern region as a result of rumour making the rounds that the Nigerian military was vaccinating pupils in schools.
According to the rumour, there was Monkey Pox broke out in Bayelsa and Rivers State after such forceful vaccination during medical out reach by the Army in parts of the state.
However, in separate statements signed by the Secretary to the Delta State Government (SSG), Prof Solo Chukwulobelu, and the State Commissioner for Information, Patric Ukah, the government advised the public not to panic over the exercise.
This is even as the state government noted that Governor of Anambra State, “Chief Willie Obiano has contacted the Army Authories and advised for immediate stoppage of the medical outreach until wide sensitization is conducted to reassure people of its intentions and benefits.
“The exercise has therefore been put on hold”, the SSG said.
The statement by the SSG on the alleged forceful vaccination reads: The attention of the State Government has been drawn to an on going medical outreach being undertaken by the Army in Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Government Area.
“The State has been made to understand that the exercise is part of Army social responsibility to members of the public.
“However, strong apprehension among the populace has followed the exercise leading to withdrawal of students from schools by parents, misconception of the actual motive behind the exercise by stakeholders, community leaders and a general reservation by the public for whom the outreach is intended.
“To this end and to ensure no further escalation of the situation, His Excellency the Governor, Chief Willie Obiano has contacted the Army Authories and advised for immediate stoppage of the medical outreach until wide sensitization is conducted to reassure people of its intentions and benefits.
“The exercise has therefore been put on hold.
“Parents and guardians are strongly advised to stop withdrawing their wards from schools as the situation has been handled.
“All schools within the State will remain open as there is no cause for alarm! Community leaders, Presidents General and all Stakeholders are hereby reassured of the commitment of the Governor and the State Government to the wellbeing of Ndi Anambra.
“The State Government also strongly condemns observed rhetorics on social media completely misrepresenting the situation with insinuations of spread of diseases and death of students in schools arising from the exercise.
“The State categorically refutes these rhetorics and confirms that there is no death of any student anywhere in the State.
“Mischief makers are warned to desist from spreading falsehood. Anambra remains calm and peaceful!”, the SSG warned.
In his own statement, the State Commissioner for Information, Patric Ukah, stated the panic measure “is based on the falsehood and rumors making the rounds that some persons or groups are going to schools to forcefully inject children to death.
“Government hereby states without equivocation that there is no iota of truth behind this rumour as there is no vaccination currently going on in schools across the State.
“The state government has advised school heads to ensure optimum security in their schools by paying attention to all children and wards until the close of schools when parents or guardians come to take them home.
“Accordingly, the state Government has by this announcement advised Security agencies to be on the alert and to nip in the bud the antics of mischief makers who may want to take advantage of this falsehood and rumour to cause havoc.
“Residents of the state are advised to be calm and go about their normal businesses”, he said.