Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State in the southern region of Nigeria has vowed to bar people who are yet to take the COVID-19 vaccine from having access to public places in the state.
The state government had announced plans to make it mandatory for residents to take the COVID-19 vaccine and present the proof before accessing public places from the second week of September.
However, a federal high court situated in Port Harcourt had issued a temporary order a few days ago against the government’s mandate. In a news briefing in Benin, the Governor had threatened to impose lockdown in the state if residents failed to comply with the directives.
‘’The attention of the [Edo] state government has been drawn to an order by a High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers, directing the government to maintain the status quo on the purported compulsory COVID-19 vaccination for citizens.
Nigeria has announced its citizens will no longer be able to visit Churches or Mosques and will not have access to banking services from the 2nd week in September without proof of vaccination.
This is shocking. pic.twitter.com/8uAykoLtl0
— Dr. Simone Gold (@drsimonegold) September 10, 2021
To the best of our knowledge, the order is speculative and preemptive, as the scheduled date for the commencement of enforcement of the directive is the second week of September.
‘’We want to reiterate that our directive on vaccination stands,’’ Mr. Obaseki said.
He advised any group or persons planning social, business, religious, business, or political gatherings after the second week of September to make sure both they and their guests were not only vaccinated but possessed vaccination cards as evidence.
‘’Anyone without this proof will not be granted access to crowded facilities’’, he said.
The Governor also said the government was commencing intensive enforcement of pharmaceutical interventions [NIPs] to curb the current spike in COVID-19 infections and death.
This will be difficult given only 1.7 percent of Nigeria is vaccinated.
This mandate could be an effort of the Governor to encourage Nigerians to get vaccinated given their low rate of vaccination.
Tunde Emmanuel Adeniyi is a Nigerian correspondent covering international politics and breaking news. He has a BA in History and International Studies and Post Graduate Certificate in Education.