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Group petitions Gov Obaseki to reverse imposition of mandatory covid vaccination in Edo



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Group petitions, protesr against Obaseki’s mandatory Covid-19 vaccine An International Human and Civil Rights, non-governmental, non-Religious and nonpolitical organization, with membership across the world including Edo State, Equity International Initiative, on Monday petitioned Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State demanding the governor to reverse the state policy imposing mandatory coronavirus vaccination on residents of the state. Equity International Initiative, in a letter to the governor titled: “Request for you to revisit your recent pronouncement on mandatory vaccination in Edo State,” signed by the Convener, Bishop Osadolor Ochei, a renowned human rights activist, requested Governor Obaseki to reverse the order or directive on mandatory vaccination, which he issued on 24th August 2021, and the flag off of the Edo State 2nd Covid-19 Vaccination Exercise.

The governor had ordered the restriction of people who do not have covid vaccine certificate would not be allowed access to Churches, Mosques, banks, and other public places.

The group argued that “no one should be restrained or restricted to any public or private place or activity on the basis of non-vaccination or non-presentation of vaccination certificates.”

Equity International Initiative decried that the Edo State government had on August 24, 2021, announced mandatory vaccination of citizens and residents of the state with the covid-19 vaccines. The group noted that the state government threatened that it would forcefully restrain persons who had not taken the covid-19 vaccine from public gatherings.

“Initially, the story was thought to be a rumor, or a fake news, until the live videos of the story emerged on some mainstream regular Television Stations. Alas, it was not fake news.

“Since that announcement broke out, the question on the lips of every well-meaning person is, what informed this pronouncement since the announcement was made, the citizens and residents of the state had been thrown into fear and panic,” the group remarked.

Equity International Initiative protested: “whatever is the reason behind this declaration, certain facts are clear, and we want to draw your attention and that of the state government to them.

The group argued that covid-19 pandemic is a global issue, noting that neither Nigeria nor Edo State is the epicenture of the virus infection. “There is no country in the world today, including, in Europe, United States of America, or South America, where we read that the disease ravaging the population has the taking of the vaccine been mandatory or citizen forbidden from accessing any services or public places without showing vaccination certificate,” the group protested.

The also argued that the  constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, at Sections 38 (1) 40 and 41 & 42 among others is clear; adding: security for Nigerians, including those residing in Edo State, have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement and freedom from any form of discrimination. “This decree or pronouncement made by your government violates these rights and puts your government in collision with the Provisions of the Law,” the group declared.

Equity International Initiative maintained: “neither you nor any government leader or government in Nigeria have the authority to issue any directive or order, including the ones contained in your speech made on the 24th August, 2021, that limits and breaches the rights of the citizens and is constitutionally provided and guaranteed.”

The group contested that while it is not in doubt that threats of Covid-19 as a global concern cannot be wished away, “the fact remains that Nigerians and citizens and residents of Edo State are daily battling with so many challenges that threaten their very lives, extreme and excruciating high cost of living that has wiped out the middle class and has thrown about 45 million Nigerians into poverty in the last two years along violent crimes of kidnapping, armed robbery/banditry/killings, etc.

“To these problems, the government seems not to have any solution to.”

The group cautioned: “If your government through the security agencies goes ahead to enforce this threat come 2nd week of September, 2021, then, what remains of the lives and livelihoods of your citizens and the people of Edo State would not only be ruined but also destroyed. “Business would crumble, and this would certainly lead to great social and civil unrest of unimaginable proportion.”

Equity International Initiative decried: “it is evident that the state as at present, there is no state in Nigeria that has up to 15% of vaccines needed for its entire population. So, to decree that those who do not have a vaccine certificate cannot access places of worship, schools, banking places and public places and events, simply means putting about 80% – 90% of Edo people under lockdown.”


The group, accordingly, declared: “It is against the above background that we Equity International Initiative, an International Human and Civil Rights, non-governmental, non-Religious and nonpolitical organization with membership across the world, including Edo State, hereby on behalf of the people and residents of Edo State today the 30th day of August, 2021, request that you reverse the order or directive on mandatory vaccination contained in your speech of 24th August, 2021 and the flag off of the Edo State second Covid-19 Vaccination Exercise.”

It admonished that no one should be restrained or restricted to any public or private place or activity on the basis of non-vaccination or non-presentation of vaccination certificate.

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