Leadership (Abuja)

12 February 2013

Nigeria: Polio Vaccinators Killings - Police Arrest Ex-Censor Board DG, Three Journalists

Photo: Gates Foundation
Polio vaccination in Nigeria.

The police in Kano yesterday arrested three staff members of Wazobia FM 95.1 Kano and a former director general, Kano State censorship board, Rabo Abdulkareem over a radio programme which may have instigated the killing of eight female and one male polio vaccinators.

LEADERSHIP recalls that on Tuesday 6, Radio Wazobia, Kano on its popular Hausa magazine programme ' Sandar girma' allegedly aired a particular scandal about the refusal of polio vaccinators to access the house of Rabo Abdulkareem. They also shared a conflicting stance about the polio vaccine which they believe was laced with chemicals that were likely to cause infertility and hence reduce population.

In the wake of the event, unknown gunmen stormed polio vaccine centres at Tarauni Local Government in the state killing nine female polio vaccinators and injuring many.

A member of staff of Wazobia FM, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told LEADERSHIP that Malam Gama Muhammad, Mubarak Muhammad and the host of the programme 'Yakubu Musa Fagge' were arrested by the team of policemen.

He confirmed to us that as at the time of filing this report, Gama Muhammad has been released.

Also, a source close to the police revealed that the federal government has interest in the arrest.

LEADERSHIP gathered that Rabo Abdulkareem may be indicted over his alleged view that "I will always be defiant to Polio vaccination because nobody will convince me that it wasn't an act that goes against the will of Allah and it wasn't a deliberate western conspiracy against our children."

In continuation of the fight against polio, the government of Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso is executing the programme in stages.

The state government constituted a committee of medical, legal and jurisprudence experts to study and investigate the contents of polio vaccine.

When the committee finally submitted its report to the chairman of the state council of ulama who initially condemned the polio vaccine he made a quick u-turn and announced that "after careful investigation we have come to the conclusion that there is nothing harmful with polio vaccine."

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Polio vaccination in Nigeria.

The police have arrested three journalists over their alleged role in the killing of nine female health workers. Read more »