LG chiefs risk sack over immunisation, says Oshiomhole

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Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State says any council chairman who fails to key into the National Immunisation Days face the risk of being sacked by the people.

Oshiomhole who stated this yesterday, at the winding down of the 4-day National Immunisation Days in Benin City, said government was happy with the rate of compliance with the programme.

He said “let me thank the development partners for being able to identify the local governments that have heeded my advice and those that have not. We will have one more meeting in the next few days and I will request you to be in attendance.

“We will review and identify those who have done well and those who have not and give a deadline within which they must comply or we ask our people to recall them. Because if Local Governments cannot provide these services, then Nigeria is in trouble. Nothing can be more fundamental than this immunization”, he noted.

The Governor explained that Nigeria is fortunate to have willing partners who are ready to provide data, training and management of the process, adding that all that is required of us is a level of political will to ensure that we see it through.

“If in spite of all these, we still have local governments who don’t understand, then we have to expose them to their people, because this is a task that must be done. We have a duty to our people and obligation to our children and to support our mothers who are willing to participate in the exercise.

“We are happy with the rate of compliance. Eighty per cent is obviously a good mark and there is no reason why we cannot achieve a hundred percent. It is a realistic target and it is a target we must achieve this year, not next year.

“Let me assure our people that we all must be committed to this exercise. Poverty is not an excuse because these vaccines are free. Ignorance is not an excuse because we have health centres in all the villages and we have people whose business is to mobilise and sensitize the people”, he maintained.

He appealed to traditional rulers, opinion moulders, labour groups, NGOS and various interest groups to unite and ensure that the message is taken to the grassroot.

Oshiomhole said “I want to thank our development partners who have stood with us over the years, helping us to recognise that it is a shame for Nigeria to be in the same club with Pakistan and Afghanistan, when we ought to be the leaders of the African continent.

“I am happy listening to the address of the World Bank representative that if Edo were a country, it would have long attained the hundred percent status. I am happy to announce that I assumed office on November 12, 2008, and the state was certified free from polio in 2009. And this was a result of our hard work”, he noted.

Earlier, the commissioner of Health, Dr. Aihanuwa Eregie commended the state government for ensuring that the state attains a polio-free status.

She disclosed that various vaccination points have been opened in the villages to ensure that the exercise gets to the grassroots.

Good will messages were delivered by the various development partners.

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