Leadership (Abuja)

10 February 2013

Nigeria: Polio Immunisation Not to Check North's Population - Suswam

Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State has urged parents to disregard the views that the ongoing polio immunisation exercise was a ploy to reduce the population of the North.

He warned those sending out wrong signals on the scheme to desist from playing politics with the health of younger Nigerians and noted that the danger that polio portends to children was enormous.

At the take-off of the polio immunisation exercise yesterday in Ugba town of Logo local government area, Governor Suswam said it was imperative for leaders at all levels to show commitment towards ensuring brighter future for the children by supporting the eradication of the polio pandemic.

"I totally disagree with the views from certain quarters that this polio immunisation exercise is meant to depopulate the North. We all know that the danger that polio portends to children is enormous. Those who are propagating that the exercise is designed to reduce the population of the North are mischievous and they do not want the bright future of the children of this country. And so such messages should be totally disregarded," Suswam said.

According to him, though Nigeria was still rated among the three countries in the world with adverse polio, he maintained that the Nigeria Governors' Forum (NGF) had placed high premium to assist the federal government to do away with it.

Similarly, the chief executive officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Ado Muhammad, said the agency was making strategic plans to end polio soon, adding that Benue was chosen for the take-off of this year's polio immunisation due to the relative peace in the state.

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