Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat on Tuesday inaugurated the State Taskforce on Polio Eradication and Immunisation, stating that non-compliance is not only against humanity but an act against God. Performing the inauguration at the Round House Office of the Deputy Governor, Hamzat averred that the real responsibility of government lied in meeting the exigencies of convincing Lagosians to accept immunization voluntarily rather than at the behest of pressures from officials.
While urging religious leaders to embrace routine immunization as a core focus of preaching, the Deputy Governor stated that they represented a veritable platform to ensure voluntary compliance. He noted that despite massive influx of people from neighbouring countries and states to Lagos, the Sanwo-Olu Administration would partner with community leaders to ensure those coming in were immunized. The Deputy Governor, who is also the Chairman of the Committee urged Local Government Chairmen to ensure that their people embrace immunization. He added that each should come up with an Action Plan for their localities.
According to Hamzat, ‘’Nigeria should not be in the league of nations challenged by Polio, as such, the imminent removal of Nigeria from the list should lead to deepening of efforts and not complacence.” Earlier, representatives of the Donor Agencies that included the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, among others, agreed that Lagos inauguration of the Taskforce was commendable and the actualization of a Year 2009 Abuja commitment signed by all states in the nation. Dr. AbdulRahman Olatunji of Rotary International urged the State Government to address such issues as ignorance, hard to reach areas, funding and effects of other surrounding States. However, the 18-man Taskforce has representatives from Local Governments, Ministries of Health, Local Government and Community Affairs and Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation present. Others are the Media, Donor Agencies and National Orientation Agency.