A Nigerian governor doesn’t want to back mandatory COVID-19 vaccine.

On Wednesday, the Governor of Kogi State, Nigeria, Yahaya Bello said that Nigeria should not apply the same methods adopted by other countries in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic after the President announced plans to spend hundreds of billions of naira on procuring the vaccines next year.

The Governor expressed his disappointment at the Federal Government’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic during a TV interview while claiming that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has not been giving President Buhari the right ideas on managing the pandemic.

He said, “We have an economy that Mr President inherited, struggling, recession, low income, left, right, and centre; and Mr President is doing his best to make sure he pulls it out of the woods.

“Those of us charged with the responsibility of advising Mr President should do that with utmost fear of God almighty.”

Gov. Bello has long been a vocal critic of the Federal Government’s response to the pandemic and has frequently called the coronavirus a ‘hoax’ marketed by the media to spread unnecessary panic.

During the TV interview, Gov. Bello explained that the economic disruption caused by COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the government has robbed many Nigerians of their livelihood, and should not be allowed to continue.

He added that Nigeria should not simply apply the same methods adopted by other countries as he believes the nation’s economy and insecurity should be the Federal Government’s focus.

Over 79,000 COVID-19 cases have been recorded in Nigeria since February with more than 1,200 people dying as a result of infection. In December, however, the number of COVID-19 cases have spiked in with over 13,000 infections detected by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in just three weeks.

Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed while speaking at a Special Forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday said the government was worried about the spike in infections in the last days. As a result, the Federal Government has directed all restaurants, bars, night clubs and event centres nationwide are to be closed, as part of its efforts to curtail the spread of the second wave of COVID-19 Pandemic.

The federal government also urged Nigerians to comply with the advisory being issued by the PTF, including the use of face masks, compliance with social distancing protocols and regular washing of hands with soap and water.

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