Members of civil society organisations and leaders of the students union yesterday in Benin City, Edo State, issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Edo State Government to withdraw the compulsory vaccination or face a total shut down of the state’s economy.
The groups took to major streets to protest against the compulsory COVID-19 vaccination policy put in place by the Governor Godwin Obaseki administration.
The protesters, who grounded vehicular movement in the metropolis, carried placards bearing such inscriptions as: ‘We need security in Edo, not vaccine’; ‘We will resist any form of executive rascality’ and ‘hunger is killing us, not COVID-19’ among others.
They threatened to completely shut down Government House, government agencies/parastatals, and corporate organisations that are enforcing ‘no vaccine, no entry’ policies, stressing that yesterday’s protest of Monday was just a warning.
Speaking at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Edo State Council, Comrade Curtis Ogbebor, coordinator, Freedom Ambassador Organisation, said they were out to express their displeasure over the compulsory vaccination in the state, just as he stressed that there are other pressing issues such as security that the governor should pay priority to and not COVID-19 vaccination.
“We are giving the governor 48 hours to withdraw the compulsory vaccination or we will shut down the economy of the state, if he continues with his compulsory vaccination enforcement.”
He urged the state government to focus more on infrastructural development rather than enforcing COVID-19 vaccination on the people. Also speaking on behalf of students in Edo State,
Comrade Osamudiamen Ogbidi, National Publicity Officer, Nigeria Students and Youth Association, said students in the state reject the forceful COVID-19 vaccination policy. While noting that the protest was just a warning and that students would be mobilized to shut down the state, he said all other youths in the state also rejected the compulsory vaccination.