240 Views

How Army Free Vaccination Caused Pandemonium In Igboland

The frosty political relationship between the federal government and the people of south eastern Nigeria and the resultant mutual suspicion took a dramatic and bizarre twist last Wednesday when a routine free inoculation programme launched by the Nigerian military, as part of the Operation Python Dance II, triggered a widespread pandemonium across Igboland.

What started as a mere rumour that some military officers were going round schools, injecting school children with suspicious drugs, allegedly responsible for the monkey pox disease now ravaging parts of the South-South and spreading to the South East, eventually snowballed into a bedlam with parents withdrawing their kids from schools, thus shutting down academic activities.

Orient Daily gathered that the free military medical services, which had already been administered at Nkwoagu Abakaliki community of Ebonyi state, Obim in Isiukwuato local government area of Abia state, Imo and Oji River Enugu state, took a controversial twist when the arrival of military medical officials at Ozubulu in Ekwusigo local government area of Anambra state triggered an alarm.

Soon, the rumour of a purported massive death of inoculated kids at Ozubulu went viral, forcing parents and guardians across the state and beyond to withdraw their children and wards from schools to avoid the inoculation.

Orient Daily reporters, who monitored the dramatic events that engulfed most cities in Anambra, Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi and Imo states, gathered that most parents who rushed to schools to withdraw their children were acting on a widely circulated message in the social media platforms – Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter – which forewarned them of the impending military medical outreach.

The message, whose author and source of origin is yet to be ascertained, had declared: “Please call your family, tell them not to participate in any free medical care by Nigerian government; they want to reduce South East population, they did it in Bayelsa that was the result of the monkey pox that is killing children right now. It’s a virus. Send it to people you know that live in the South East, you might save lives…”

The suspicion that the military medical officials had been specifically ordered to inject school children with the dreaded monkey pox viral drug, as the rumour mongers had speculated, became the ultimate spark that sent parents and well-wishers speeding in the direction of their children’s schools.

While many public and private schools threw their gates open and parents whisked away their kids in some schools where management denied parents access into the compound, a crowd of pleading parents cluster around demanding for their kids. A mild drama played out in one of the school around Awka, the Anambra state capital, when some parents, demanding the release of their kids in front of the school compound, suddenly took to their heels when they saw a military patrol vehicle heading towards them.

Eye witness account further disclosed that the sudden flight of parents at the gate also triggered massive pandemonium inside the school as the school management, teachers and students scampered to safety, thinking that the military personnel were coming to kill them.

Expectedly, hours later, the authority of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu, issued a public statement, describing the rumour that triggered the pandemonium as a wicked lie and complete blackmail. The military explained that the free medical outreach was part of the Operation Python Dance II (Egwueke).

The Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 82 Division, Nigerian Army, Col. Sagir Musa, who led a team of journalists to some centers explained further: “we regard this Ozubulu as a host community in Onitsha with the kind gesture of the General Officer Commanding 82 Division of the Nigerian Army Enugu, Major General Adamu Abubakar. We did not inject patients let alone injecting with killer drugs, you pressmen are here with us physically, you have not seen any injection, not syringe at all”.

READ ALSO: IPOB’s proscription: NBA dares FG, says ex-parte order of court can’t stand

“All these are rumour as we are not injecting anybody, you have seen the Chairman of Ekwusigo local government area, Engr Ofodieme Ikenna, the state commissioner for health. Dr. Joe Akabuike is also here; we are here purely on medical mission, to give free medical services to the people, neighbouring communities.

Musa urged citizens to avoid acting on unverified reports. “As Nigerians we need to deviate from rumour because it will not do us any good. This is a wicked lie and propaganda to damage the good services we are rendering. We urge parents to caution their wards against such false rumour as it is not good for God, the nation and mankind.”

ALSO READ  Int'l Embarrassment!! Video Of Two Nigerian Guys Caught On Camera Fighting Dirty On The Streets Of Italy Surfaces…

Earlier in his speech, Anambra state health commissioner, Dr. Joe Akabuike also took time to quash the rumour of deadly inoculation. According to him, the military medical outreach was an annual programme that has not recorded any fatality. “We want to reassure our people that the military has been carrying out this free medical treatment yearly. This is not new in Anambra. In 2015, I personally supervised the one they did in Nzam; it is a medical mission. All the instruments they use are life-saving instruments. We are happy that they chose Ozubulu, Anambra for the free medical exercise”.

According to the commissioner, “we work with all the forces in the state. What is important is that we have pushed out the right information to the people”.

However, following the monkey pox scare in Anambra state, the state government has suspended the ongoing medical outreach. An official statement hurriedly issued by the secretary to the state government (SSG), Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, said the exercise had been put on hold to ensure no further escalation of the situation.

Chukwulobelu explained that Governor Willie Obiano had contacted the military authorities and requested immediate stoppage of the medical outreach until wide sensitisation was conducted to reassure people of its intentions and benefits. “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!”

Meanwhile, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has condemned what it called, alleged forceful administration of Monkey Pox vaccine in some parts of South East which caused pandemonium in the region.

The pro-Biafra group, however, claimed that the substance being used by the military in their inoculation service was imported from Iran with the aim of subtly annihilating the people of the region who are agitating for Biafra republic. In a statement signed by the leader of the group, Uchenna Madu, MASSOB warned the military to be mindful of their activities in the South East and South-South region.

The statement read in parts: “MASSOB, through our intelligence agency, have confirmed that the immunisation drugs were brought from Iran without the due process of clearing of imported goods. Our intelligence report also proved that NAFDAC was sidelined in the administration of the killer poison.

“We see this camouflaged medical humanitarian service of the Nigeria Army as another step to cause annihilation of the people of Biafra. This Nigeria military annihilation exercise can be described as “Operation Python Death.”

MASSOB claimed that the substance administered in Ozubulu was different from the medical drugs administered in Nkwegwu, Isukwuato and Mbaise. “This is a biological warfare waged against our people by Nigeria state. The level of hatred President Buhari and his kinsmen displayed using the instruments of the Nigerian state and primitive services of the security agents against the people of Biafra because of the emergence of Biafra can lead them to indescribable acts that will reduce our intimidating population.

Some social critics have equally condemned the timing of the military inoculation programme in parts of Igboland. According to Mr. Uche Ezechukwu, a journalist and social commentator, the manner in which government implemented the inoculation programme contributed to the bedlam.

“The Army might mean well and the motive might be salutary. Nevertheless, the project and its timing are suspicious in the extreme”, he argued.

Mr. Ezechukwu went further: “the issue of public vaccination in schools and market places against small pox is as old as independent Nigeria. As kids in the kindergarten and primary schools, there was usually stampede as local government health authorities chased us as they ‘invaded’ schools, markets and churches to vaccinate often unwilling children and adults. However, in its nearly 60 years of school and public immunisation that I have witnessed in Igboland, I have never seen the involvement of soldiers or the other arms of the military. The only uniformed people were the dreaded sanitary inspectors.

Charles Ogbu, a social critic adds: “anyone sending soldiers to administer any form of vaccines or whatever medical aide to school kids without sensitising the parents of the kids and authorities in the area, has ulterior motives. Such a person should be feared. He couldn’t have meant well.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Latest Posts

These might Be Why Your Child Has Lost Appetite
Food and Health
Food and Health

These might Be Why Your Child Has Lost Appetite

PH - January 23, 2018

1. Slow Growth Rate: Changes in growth can cause an appetite slump in children. During the first year, children grow rapidly. But after the first birthday the…

Few Photos From Peter&Lola Okoye’s Daughter, Aliona’s 5th Birthday Party
Entertainment
4 views
Entertainment
4 views

Few Photos From Peter&Lola Okoye’s Daughter, Aliona’s 5th Birthday Party

PH - January 23, 2018

Peter Okoye and his wife, Lola Omotayo threw a birthday party for their daughter, Aliona, who just turned 5. All her cousins were in attendance to celebrate the…

Ooni of Ife Reveals Adam and Eve Were Black People Created in Ife
Art, History and Culture
9 views
Art, History and Culture
9 views

Ooni of Ife Reveals Adam and Eve Were Black People Created in Ife

PH - January 23, 2018

The Ooni of Ife Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi has shed light on the connection between the creation of humans and Yoruba people. Creation started at Ife, the Ooni said, and…

3 Things You Need To Get Right When Applying For 2018 UTME
Geeky & Smart
6 views
Geeky & Smart
6 views

3 Things You Need To Get Right When Applying For 2018 UTME

PH - January 23, 2018

2018 UTME is less than two month away and if you haven't register, you must ensure you get these three right in your registration. If you're seeking…

Diabetic Businessman Loses N190m To Herbalist Who Claimed To Have A Cure
Shocking
12 views
Shocking
12 views

Diabetic Businessman Loses N190m To Herbalist Who Claimed To Have A Cure

PH - January 23, 2018

A self-acclaimed herbalist, Adeniyi Adewunmi has been arraigned before an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court in Lagos for duping a diabetic businessman of N190million under the guise of finding…

5 Tweets From Buhari In 2015 We Can’t Help But Look back On With Skepticism
Profiles
6 views
Profiles
6 views

5 Tweets From Buhari In 2015 We Can’t Help But Look back On With Skepticism

PH - January 23, 2018

Certain events during Buhari's tenure have betrayed a few of his tough words before he became president. In 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari didn't start the year as…

‘Love Conquers All’: Checkout 5 Nollywood Couples Who Are Still Waxing Stronger (With Photos)
Entertainment
10 views
Entertainment
10 views

‘Love Conquers All’: Checkout 5 Nollywood Couples Who Are Still Waxing Stronger (With Photos)

MT - January 23, 2018

There are quite a number of Nollywood couples who found love, either on screen or off. Some of these relationships have stood the test of time. This…

What Would Make Young Nigerians Join This Terrorist Group?
General
10 views
General
10 views

What Would Make Young Nigerians Join This Terrorist Group?

PH - January 23, 2018

Nigerians woke up this morning to the news that Federal security agencies claim the Islamic State in West Africa, a branch of ISIS, is responsible for what we…

7 Hottest Music Collaborations To Expect In 2018
Entertainment
8 views
Entertainment
8 views

7 Hottest Music Collaborations To Expect In 2018

MT - January 23, 2018

The beauty of musical collaborations is in the way artistes contribute their gifts and resources to form a fine piece that is then served to the listener.…

Fellas, Do You Agree With This Lady’s Relationship Advice?
Romance and Love
12 views
Romance and Love
12 views

Fellas, Do You Agree With This Lady’s Relationship Advice?

PH - January 23, 2018

This twitter user took to her account to give this advise to ladies and warn men to desist from their deceitful ways. Read what she wrote below:

Photos Of VP Yemi Osinbajo At George Weah’s Inauguration
Politics
14 views
Politics
14 views

Photos Of VP Yemi Osinbajo At George Weah’s Inauguration

PH - January 23, 2018

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo represented President Buhari at the inauguration of former footballer, George Weah, as the 24th president of Liberia. See photos below:

Presidency Outlines Buhari’s Achievements Since 2015
Politics
21 views
Politics
21 views

Presidency Outlines Buhari’s Achievements Since 2015

PH - January 23, 2018

The Presidency has appealed to former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Ghali Na’Abba, to take a second look at Muhammadu Buhari administration’s achievements since its…

More To Aisha Buhari’s Castigation Of Buhari’s Administration?
Politics
17 views
Politics
17 views

More To Aisha Buhari’s Castigation Of Buhari’s Administration?

PH - January 23, 2018

Sources at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa have dismissed First Lady Aisha Buhari’s opposition to her husband’s administration, as a case of sour grapes. On Friday, January…

Actress Calista Okoronkwo Shares How A Man’s Comment About Actresses Spoilt Her Day
Entertainment
21 views
Entertainment
21 views

Actress Calista Okoronkwo Shares How A Man’s Comment About Actresses Spoilt Her Day

PH - January 23, 2018

Nollywood actress, Calista Okoronkwo took to her Instagram to narrate the comments a man made while she was having lunch with a friend, that spoilt her day.…

How Cross River Youths Repelled Alleged Attack By Herdsmen
Shocking
12 views
Shocking
12 views

How Cross River Youths Repelled Alleged Attack By Herdsmen

PH - January 23, 2018

Hundreds of youths in Okuku, in Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State on Sunday repelled attack by armed men suspected to be Fulanis headsmen on…

Interesting: Female Maths Genius Teaches Subject In Nigerian Pidgin And Igbo Language
Inspiring
17 views
Inspiring
17 views

Interesting: Female Maths Genius Teaches Subject In Nigerian Pidgin And Igbo Language

MT - January 23, 2018

  Stakeholders have lamented at various conferences that it is not possible due to lack of adequate science teachers who can speak their indigenous languages and the…

Davido’s Older Brother Rants About Passport Seizure After Drama At MMA
Entertainment
16 views
Entertainment
16 views

Davido’s Older Brother Rants About Passport Seizure After Drama At MMA

PH - January 23, 2018

Looks like the passports of Davido and everyone who flew back with him to Lagos from Dubai were seized at the airport after his crew member, Kayode aka Tyconne was arrested…

Rev Father Obimma Reveals What Holy Spirit Told Him About President Buhari
Politics
17 views
Politics
17 views

Rev Father Obimma Reveals What Holy Spirit Told Him About President Buhari

PH - January 23, 2018

The spiritual director of the Holy Ghost Adoration Ministry, Uke, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Obimma, has revealed that the Holy Ghost revealed to him before Muhammadu Buhari was…

Loading...