Northern youths under Northern Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) on Tuesday expressed worry over planned by the Federal Government to try COVID-19 vaccine in the FCT and five other States including Kaduna, Kano and Sokoto.
The President of the NYCN, Isah Abubakar in a statement said it was not good enough for a few people to sit in Abuja and decide for the millions of people in Kaduna, Kano and Sokoto States, hence, his call for broader consultations with stakeholders in the North.
According to Isah, a related trial conducted by Pfizer in Kano sometime ago which disabled so many potential northern Nigeria human capital is still fresh in their memory.
Isah said, “our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to the Honourable Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire where he listed the FCT and Five 5 states whose governors have given their foreign collaborators the green light to use their citizens as laboratory rats for the clinical trials of the much talked about Covid-19 curative drugs and vaccine.
“We condemn the decision of the governors of the states of Kaduna, Kano and Sokoto and the FCT Minister for taking such a complex decision on behalf of our people without due consultations with relevant stakeholders.
“We wish to state without any fear of contradiction that our people are not Guinea pigs for such trials. We are yet to hear of such trial in the United State of America where reported cases of infection have exceeded one million with corresponding high mortality rate far above mortalities in all African countries combined.
“Leadership should be by example. This case shouldn’t be an exemption. The rich in search of greener pastures for themselves and children imported the disease into the country. If they had all remain in the country, we wouldn’t have found ourselves in this mess today.
“We are particularly perplexed that no single state in South-south and South-east geopolitical zones where the Minister of Health and the Director-General of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) hail from, was found in the list of the state for the trials.
“Charity they say should begin at home. It cost our tears for testing centres to be extended to us, why is the gift of the drug and vaccine trial speedily extended to us? those that don’t deserve testing centre shouldn’t deserve vaccine trial centres.
“The Federal Character principle has been our guiding principle in the running of our National affairs. If it becomes necessary that we can’t do without the drugs trial, the most honourable thing to do is for each Zone to donate her people for it in the spirit of Federal Character, national growth and cohesion”, he said.
He, however, called on parents who sent their children to other states for Almajirai education but are yet to return home to do well to check on them up in their states Covid-19 isolation centres where most of them are being held on the ground of being infected with the virus to avoid them being forcefully used for the nefarious trial.