The decision taken by current Education Minister, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau when he was governor of Kano State, was one of the key factors responsible for the recurring polio cases, Deputy Governor of the state, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has alleged.
Ganduje, who is chairman of the state’s task force on polio eradication, in an interview with journalists, said the suspension of the immunization programme during Shekarau’s administration was one of the factors responsible for the recurring polio cases.
“The challenge we are facing in polio eradication is largely as a result of the stoppage of the vaccine in Kano for 18 months. During that period, the virus had a field day and till now, we are still battling it. There is also the religion aspect of it, because some people see the vaccine as a grand design to control population in Nigeria, especially in the North. Being against polio vaccine is being against humanity”, he said.
The deputy governor pointed out that the state is succeeding in eradicating the virus with the tripartite efforts of the state government, Bill Gates foundation and Dangote foundation.
“Because of the efforts, we have recorded only four cases in the state this year as against the 20 we recorded last year”, he said.
However, when contacted for his reaction, Shekarau, who spoke through one of his aides – Ghali Sadiq – faulted the allegation, describing it as mere mischief.
“When there was complain over the vaccine, Mallam constituted a committee to investigate the allegation that the vaccine was being used for birth control. And after investigation, the committee found out that there was nothing like birth control in the vaccine. Following the outcome, Mallam brought out his children in the Government House for vaccination and everybody in the state followed suit. There was no time when he stopped the vaccine. This is just mere mischief and they are only trying to blame him for what he did not do”, Sadiq said.