The Equity International Initiative is currently leading a protest against forced vaccination in Edo State, Nigeria. The people came out with Placards with different expressions: “#Vaccines Cause Miscarriages; #I have rights to my church; #Say not to forceful Vaccination…” and branded shirts with different inscriptions among which are: “No to impunity; My life, my right, etc.” branded banners were not left out too. One of the banners read: “Armed robbers, Kidnappers, Boko Haram, Herdsmen are killing us, not COVID.” Another read: “Obaseki you can’t force us to take COVID-19 vaccine.”
The protesters started out from the Nigerian Union of Journalists Secretariat where the Equity International Initiative County Director, Dr. Chris Iyama addressed the protesters, briefing them on the purpose of the protest and the need for it. After this, they moved to the Stadium, then moved to the government house. Although they were denied entry, they stationed themselves at the government house that they will not leave until the governor addressed them regarding their grievances.
The protest against forced vaccination, is in response to the declaration by the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki last week Tuesday August 24, 2021 at the launch of the second phase COVID-19 vaccination. The governor had declared that from the second week of September, Edo state residents will not be allowed into public places without the proof of vaccination. He also said large gatherings will not be allowed without the proof of vaccination.
The County Director, Dr. Chris Iyama stated that vaccination is meant to be optional according to the law and international health organisations. In his words in the local pidgin language: “if you cook and I say I no chop na by force? No be by force. So we get rights (If you cook for me and I decide not to eat the food, you don’t have to force me. I have my rights to make my choice).” Another resident said: “dem don tell us say dem pay am money make he take kill us (we have been told that he was paid some money to kill us).”
The protest is a peaceful one, in spite of the rain; the protesters did not obstruct the flow of traffic nor the business of the day. There was no forceful invitation of passers-by to join in the protest; every protester was made to wear the Equity International branded shirt to avoid miscreants taking advantage of the situation to cause any form of chaos. In addition, law enforcement officers and security agencies are moving with the protesters to maintain the order.
Ireport247 will bring more details later on Edo state forced vaccination.