Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: 'Why Abaji Council Opted Out of Immunisation'

The non-release of funds by the authorities of Abaji area council prevented the council from participating in the on-going routine immunization exercise expected to be rounded off today in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Another round of five-day immunisation plus exercise for children between ages 0-59 was flagged off on Friday in FCT.

However, our reporter who went round to monitor the exercise in Abaji on Saturday, observed that none of the health officials of the council participated in the exercise.

An official in the health department of the council, who craved anonymity, confided in our reporter that the council opted out of the exercise due to non-release of funds, adding that the health department had borrowed money to carry out similar exercise on three different occasions.

"The health department had borrowed money thrice in the past to carry out the exercise. When the chairman asked them to go and source for money again for the exercise, the department insisted it can't do it again and that is why we are not taking part," he claimed.

Efforts to get reactions from the council's supervisory councillor for health, Alhaji Abubakar Musa Sokodabo, were not successful as he did not pick several calls put across to his phone.

When contacted, press secretary to the chairman of the council, Salihu Umar Kombo, dismissed the allegation, adding that the council opted out of the exercise to enable it focus more on the outbreak of a disease at Pandagi village in the area.

He said the council will commence its own exercise anytime from today.

It would be recalled that the Executive Secretary of the FCT primary health care development board, Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed, on Sunday, complained that it was only Abaji that failed to release funds for the exercise out of the six area councils.

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