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Meningitis is God’s punishment for your sins, Gov. Yari tells Zamfara people

Abdulaziz Yari, governor of Zamfara state, says the outbreak of “stereotype C” meningitis is God’s way of pouring his anger on Nigerians.

With 213 deaths, Zamfara is the worst hit state in the outbreak of the disease.

Last week, Chikwe Ihekweazu, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), disclosed that the vaccines for the new strand of the disease were not commercially available.

But Yari, who advised Nigerians to make their ways right, expressed optimism that the situation would be contained.

The governor said this at the presidential villa in Abuja after meeting President Muhammdu Buhari.

“The most important thing is for our people to know that their relationship with God is not smooth. All they need to do is repent and everything will be all right,” he said.

“What we used to know as far as meningitis is concerned is the type A virus. The World Health Organisation, WHO, has carried out vaccinations against this type A virus not just in Zamfara, but many other states.

“However, because people refused to stop their nefarious activities, God now decided to send Type C virus, which has no vaccination.

“People have turned away from God and he has promised that ‘if you do anyhow, you see anyhow’ that is just the cause of this outbreak as far as I am concerned.

“There is no way fornication will be so rampant and God will not send a disease that cannot be cured.”

During the weekend, the Zamfara chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) accused Yari’s government of not doing enough to forestall the outbreak of the disease.

But Yari denied the allegation, saying his government took different measures, including calling an emergency meeting where stakeholders were briefed on the disease.

“After the meeting, we came out with a strategy to be adopted and the money required to deal with the outbreak and a lot of work is going on,” he said.

Yari said the announcement that there are only five million dose of the vaccine against the Type C virus has compounded the problem.

He said the federal ministry of health has only 50,000 doses of the vaccine, out of which 20,000 was given to his state.

“That is not enough for Zamfara people alone, not to talk of Katsina or Kano,” he said.

“Our Focus as a state now is to continue treating those who are infected with the disease, but as for vaccination, it has an international dimension.

“We have information that Nigeria will get the highest percentage of the five million doses available now. Apart from WHO, other International bodies such as the Bill Gates foundation and UNICEF are also currently focusing on how to tackle the outbreak.”

The Cable

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