427 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  Tragic Story Of The First Female Doctor In Igboland, Ada Priscilla Nzimiro

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.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest Posts

Nigerian Woman Celebrates Her Daughter Who Is Now A Major In US Army. [Photos]
Best of Nigeria
13 views
Best of Nigeria
13 views

Nigerian Woman Celebrates Her Daughter Who Is Now A Major In US Army. [Photos]

MT - August 17, 2018

Congratulations are in order for a Nigerian lady identified as Major Tokunbo Benson, who recently graduated from US Army Command and General Staff College. The lady who…

WATCH Trailer of New Movie “Moms At War” starring Omoni Oboli & Funke Akindele Bello
Entertainment
29 views
Entertainment
29 views

WATCH Trailer of New Movie “Moms At War” starring Omoni Oboli & Funke Akindele Bello

PH - August 17, 2018

Actress Omoni Oboli‘s new production set to be released tomorrow, “Moms at War” is about two mothers who live in the same neighborhood, but hate each other.…

This Survey Says 74% of Nigerians Want to Move to Another Country
Featured
23 views
Featured
23 views

This Survey Says 74% of Nigerians Want to Move to Another Country

PH - August 17, 2018

A survey carried out by the Pew Research Center between February and April 2017 has said that 74% of Nigerians would go to live in another country…

WATCH: Atedo Peterside opens up about building a Billion-Dollar Business at 33 on ‘My Worst Day with Peace Hyde’
Best of Nigeria
31 views
Best of Nigeria
31 views

WATCH: Atedo Peterside opens up about building a Billion-Dollar Business at 33 on ‘My Worst Day with Peace Hyde’

PH - August 17, 2018

Atedo Peterside is one of the most respected bankers in Nigeria. At 33 he built a billion dollar business and became the founder of Stanbic IBTC Bank…

FG Paid A “Huge Ransom” To Secure Release Of Dapchi Girls – UN Report
Politics
26 views
Politics
26 views

FG Paid A “Huge Ransom” To Secure Release Of Dapchi Girls – UN Report

PH - August 17, 2018

A report submitted to the UN Security Council on Boko Haram and related terrorist organisations, on Tuesday, has said Nigeria paid “huge ransom” to secure the release…

Here’s the Video of Duncan Mighty and Davido That’s Got People Talking
Entertainment
37 views
Entertainment
37 views

Here’s the Video of Duncan Mighty and Davido That’s Got People Talking

PH - August 17, 2018

A video of Duncan Mighty and Davido is trending on social media. In the video shared via Instagram, Duncan Mighty is filmed taking a bow (and was…

FG Declares Public Holidays to Celebrate 2018 Eid-El-Kabir [See Date]
Best of Nigeria
40 views
Best of Nigeria
40 views

FG Declares Public Holidays to Celebrate 2018 Eid-El-Kabir [See Date]

MT - August 17, 2018

The Federal Government has declared Tuesday, Aug. 21, and Wednesday, Aug. 22 as public holidays to celebrate the 2018 Eid-el-Kabir. The Minister of Interior, Retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman…

SEE Family Photos of Senate President Saraki, His Wife, And Their Beautiful Daughters
Entertainment
60 views
Entertainment
60 views

SEE Family Photos of Senate President Saraki, His Wife, And Their Beautiful Daughters

PH - August 17, 2018

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, his wife Toyin Saraki, and their daughters look quite happy in new family photos recently released. Not many have been acquainted with the…

Why We’re Detaining Premium Times Journalist – Nigeria Police
Politics
49 views
Politics
49 views

Why We’re Detaining Premium Times Journalist – Nigeria Police

PH - August 17, 2018

The Nigeria Police yesterday shed more light on why it was investigating the Premium Times Security Sector reporter, Samuel Ogundipe. It said Ogundipe was being investigated and prosecuted for…

How To Stop SARS’ Brutality – Human Right Lawyer, Femi Falana
Politics
45 views
Politics
45 views

How To Stop SARS’ Brutality – Human Right Lawyer, Femi Falana

PH - August 17, 2018

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana SAN, has suggested ways to curb the excesses of police unit, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Falana warned that the ongoing re-organisation…

How Nigerian Fintech Startup Mines Raised US$13m Series A Round
Business
52 views
Business
52 views

How Nigerian Fintech Startup Mines Raised US$13m Series A Round

PH - August 17, 2018

Nigerian fintech startup Mines, which builds digital credit products for underserved populations, has secured a US$13 million Series A funding round as it aims to expand into…

Check Out ‘The Near Completion’ Photos of the Alagbole-Yokoyo Flyover in Lagos
Politics
137 views
Politics
137 views

Check Out ‘The Near Completion’ Photos of the Alagbole-Yokoyo Flyover in Lagos

MT - August 16, 2018

he construction of the Alagbole-Odo-Yakoyo flyover commenced close to a decade ago. The flyover is intended to connect the Alagbole-Akute axis of Ogun state to Ojodu-Berger axis…

2 Nigerian Fintech Startups Raise Funding From Microtraction
Business
75 views
Business
75 views

2 Nigerian Fintech Startups Raise Funding From Microtraction

PH - August 16, 2018

Nigerian early-stage fund Microtraction has invested in two more fintech startups – Wallet.ng and Allpro – to grow its portfolio to four companies. Launched in July of…

Respected Nollywood Actress, Genevieve Nnaji Becomes Millionaire Real Estate Investor
Best of Nigeria
82 views
Best of Nigeria
82 views

Respected Nollywood Actress, Genevieve Nnaji Becomes Millionaire Real Estate Investor

MT - August 16, 2018

For those waiting to see Nollywood actress Genevieve Nnaji on the screen, we are sad to announce to you that the queen many not be coming back…

BORNO, The State With The Highest Number Of Childbirths Since 2013
Best of Nigeria
69 views
Best of Nigeria
69 views

BORNO, The State With The Highest Number Of Childbirths Since 2013

PH - August 16, 2018

Borno State is currently topping the charts for the highest number of birth registrations within the last five years — despite the nine-year-old Boko Haram-sponsored insurgency in…

Nigerians React as Duncan Mighty Prostrates to Davido in Port Harcourt
Entertainment
78 views
Entertainment
78 views

Nigerians React as Duncan Mighty Prostrates to Davido in Port Harcourt

MT - August 16, 2018

Popular Nigerian musician, Duncan Mighty, has come under fire as fans and other music lovers have reacted to a video showing him prostrating to David Adeleke, popularly known as…

Demolition: Yinka Ayefele Reacts as His Fresh FM Radio Station Building is Marked for Demolition
Entertainment
70 views
Entertainment
70 views

Demolition: Yinka Ayefele Reacts as His Fresh FM Radio Station Building is Marked for Demolition

MT - August 16, 2018

Dr. Yinka Ayefele, the Chairman/CEO of Yinka Ayefele Ltd, owners of Fresh FM 105.9, has reacted to a statement by Oyo State Government which said that the…

MTN Nigeria Signs N200bn Loan Deal With 12 Banks
Business
69 views
Business
69 views

MTN Nigeria Signs N200bn Loan Deal With 12 Banks

PH - August 16, 2018

elecommunications Company MTN Nigeria on Wednesday signed a N200bn loan deal with 12 banks in the country. The loan comes with a two-year moratorium and a five-year…

Loading...