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Omicron: Okowa urges Nigerians to embrace vaccination

By Godwin Ijediogor and Monday Osayande, Asaba
01 December 2021   |   2:58 am
Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on Nigerians to get vaccinated against COVID-19, assuring them that the vaccines are safe and no death

Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on Nigerians to get vaccinated against COVID-19, assuring them that the vaccines are safe and no death has been recorded as a result of their administration in the country.
 
The governor said it has become imperative for Nigerians to embrace vaccines, especially with the Omicron and Delta variants currently ravaging the world.

 
Okowa also expressed concern over the delay by President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute the Board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), months after submission of its forensic audit report, adding that it was an unpleasant development that could eventually put the Federal Government and states concerned in a bad light, as member states are already being shortchanged
 
Speaking at his quarterly interactive session with journalists, yesterday, in Asaba, Okowa stated that there was no shortage of vaccines in the state and the country and urged Nigerians to take the vaccines, as they were safe.
 
“Deltans and Nigerians are not accessing the vaccines enough. They are safe and many people are not taking advantage of the free vaccines.
 

“There has been no single cause of death in Nigeria as a result of the vaccine,’’ he noted.
 
Okowa advised Nigerians not to panic over the Omicron variant of COVID-19, but to continue to observe necessary pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical prevention protocols.
 
He decried the panicky approach to the whole thing and the way countries are placing travel bans on South Africa, and indeed African countries, insisting it is not right and will not help the situation.
 
“I don’t think it’s the best approach, because once you begin to have this level of punishment, when they detect new variants, they may not speak out and that would be worse to handle.”
 
According to the governor, the issue of non-constitution of the NDDC board has been on for two years and gradually getting out of hand, as many states are being deprived of representation on the board.
 
“This gives room for the budget to be run the way it ought not to be, thereby denying states their dues, which have not been the situation since the establishment of the board.”

On proposed fuel subsidy removal and attendant increase in pump prices, the governor said the decision should follow the law and be based on the economic situation of the country, just as he voiced concerns over the rate of borrowing to sustain recurrent, instead of capital expenditures.