BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

Kogi denies allegation of demand for gratification for COVID-19 vaccination

Following the online media report on the purported demand for gratification from the citizens by Covid-19 administrators before administering the vaccine in the state , the Kogi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (KSPHCDA), has denied the allegation .

The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), a non-governmental organisation in a press briefing in Bauchi State, had alleged that vaccine administrators in Kogi State were demanding money from clients before vaccinating them.

According to a statement by Abubakar Yakubu, executive director of the agency, on Tuesday in Lokoja, said the purported report was misleading and far from the realities on COVID-19 vaccination in the state, adding that
the report was highly unlikely to be true as the NGO failed to back up its purported findings with the actual facts.and without using the appropriate channels.

Yakubu added that it was a known fact that the agency had been engaging in a high level social sensitisation and mobilisation advocacy across communities in the state in order to have an uptake of the vaccine.

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”How can something we are practically persuading the people to take, will now be the same thing to be demanding for money before administering?,” the executive director queried.

Yakubu equally emphasised that the agency had closely monitored the activities of the administrators vis-a-vis enlightenment to persuade the people across the state to take the COVID-19 vaccine, since the commencement of its administration in the state.

He added that the said discovery should have been addressed to the appropriate agency in the State rather than addressing newsmen in Bauchi State on a purported event that was claimed to have happened in Kogi State.

He maintained that the claim by the NGO was practically impossible to happen in Kogi State where the Agency and the State Ministry of Health were still doing a high level advocacy and community sensitization alongside relevant NGOs for COVID-19 vaccine uptake.

However , he described the report by CITAD of demanding money for COVID-19 vaccination in any part of Kogi State as false, baseless and misleading with political undertones.

‘He said “the state government completely rejected the report and thereby demanded for an immediate and unreserved apology from the publisher of the fake news as well as its generator, CITAD. Failure to tender their apology, the government would be forced to take punitive measures against the NGO and its collaborators”.

Meanwhile, Yakubu noted that the Agency had set up a team of investigators who are painstakingly analysing the purported report in order to expose the perpetrators as well as the motive behind their action.

Speaking with our correspondent, Folayan Idowu, state coordinator National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), who is also a member of the State Joint Task Force on COVID-19 Vaccination, also refuted the purported publication, saying it was unfounded, adding that the task force has been embarking on weekly patrol to monitor the administration of Covid -19 vaccine across the 21 local government areas , insisting that there was no record of such incident in the state.