The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has stated that the coronavirus is real, and should be taken seriously.
He also spoke about the administration of coronavirus vaccines to Nigeria.
The Sultan, who talked at the COVID-19 Vaccines sensitisation meeting, organised by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), on Wednesday, in Abuja, urged the Federal Government to build public confidence ahead of the importation of the vaccines.
He also asked the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) to take advantage of the meeting to ask all the questions bordering on expressed public fears of the vaccines.
In his remarks, Prof. Olanrewaju Oloyede, a Polymath Professor of Islamic Studies and Secretary General, NSCIA, noted that the meeting was not just for government to tell the attendees about its acquisition of the COVID-19 vaccines, but also to provide opportunity for questions to be asked, so that after such interactions, the scholars would be better prepared for the vaccines.
Speaking at the event, Dr Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director NPHCDA, recalled the pivotal role played by the scholars on the eradication of polio.
“I am optimistic that the experience we have from polio eradication will be valuable toward making this a successful effort,” he said.
According to Shuaib, the idea behind the meeting was to secure their early buy-in to the vaccination project, with a view to avoid a repeat of those mistakes made at the early stages of the polio vaccination programme.
He noted that the government had acknowledged the huge role they could play in convincing their followers about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine, assuring that government would ensure that no vaccine would be administered on the people without verifying its safety.