Meningitis is God’s punishment for fornication – Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara

by on April 5, 2017

Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State has declared that the renewed outbreak of meningitis in 16 states of the federation is a divine punishment for Nigerians’ promiscuous lifestyles and disobedience to God.

The governor emphat­ically said that fornication is the major reason God is punishing Nigeria with men­ingitis.

According to him, God sent Type C of the menin­gitis, whose vaccines are yet to be found, as the punish­ment for Nigerians’ nefar­ious activities.

In an interview he granted in Hausa language after holding a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday, Governor Yari said that fornication is among the sins that may have made God to inflict meningitis on the country.

He spoke as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said that a total of 2,997 cases have been report­ed with 146 of the cases being laboratory confirmed.

The agency said that as at April 3, 2017, 336 people have died from the disease.

Zamfara is one of the worst affected states in the country. The others are Katsina, Kebbi, Niger and Sokoto.

Zamfara, Katsina and Sokoto States are said to ac­count for about 93% of the cas­es reported.

The Nigeria Medical Asso­ciation (NMA), Zamfara State chapter had accused Yari’s gov­ernment of indifference to the outbreak despite early warn­ings.

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Yari, however, said the out­break might not be unconnect­ed with the people’s total disre­gard to God’s commandments.

Yari said: “What we used to know as far as meningitis is concerned is the Type A vi­rus. The World Health Organ­isation (WHO) has carried out vaccinations against this Type A virus, not just in Zamfara, but many other states.

“However, because people refused to stop their nefarious activities, God now decided to send Type C virus, which has no vaccination.”

“People have turned away from God and he has promised that ‘if you do anyhow, you see anyhow’ that is just the cause of this outbreak as far as I am con­cerned. There is no way forni­cation will be so rampant and God will not send a disease that cannot be cured”.

Dispelling insinuations that his government failed to act ac­cordingly, Yari said he called an emergency meeting com­prising of all top state and lo­cal government officials and traditional rulers, adding that “the meeting came out with a strategy to be adopted and the money required to deal with the outbreak and a lot of work is going on”.

He noted that relevant or­ganizations across the globe had announced that there are only five million doses of the vaccine against the Type C vi­rus.

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“That is not enough for Zamfara people alone, not to talk of Katsina or Kano,” he said.

He said Nigeria’s Feder­al Ministry of Health has only 50,000 doses of the vaccine, out of which 20,000 was giv­en to Zamfara State because of the high rate of the disease in the state.

“The most important thing is for our people to know that their relationship with God is not smooth. All they need to do is repent and everything will be all right,” Yari added.

Asked if only the people need repentance and not lead­ers, Yari said:

“Leaders are doing their best by enlightening the pop­ulace and working assiduous­ly for the good of all.”

“Your major assignment as a leader is to convey the mes­sage; you cannot go from house to house and arrest offenders for instance,” added Yari.

The most affected group of people, the NCDC, said are children between the ages 5 and 14.

According to the NCDC, a total of 2,997 suspected cases with 336 deaths (CFR=11.2%) have been reported from 92 local government areas in the country.

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A total of 146 positive cas­es confirmed by Pastorex and Culture; Neisseria meningitides serotype C being the most common serotype, account­ing for 83% of cases.

The agency, however, dis­closed that 500,000 doses of the AC-PS vaccine granted by the International Coordinat­ing Group on Vaccine Provi­sion (ICG) for reactive vacci­nation in Zamfara has arrived Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the Senate has urged the Federal Ministry of Health and NCDC to make meningitis vaccinations free in public healthcare facilities across the country.

The Upper House reso­lution followed a motion ti­tled: “Outbreak of Meningitis and the Urgent Need to Curb its Spread and Stop Further Deaths” sponsored by Senator Gbenga Ashafa and 16 other Senators.

It noted that the outbreak of CSM in five states stresses the need for an increase in the budget of the Federal Ministry of Health, in order to ensure that the Ministry and its par­astatals are able to better fund healthcare-related activities in the country.

The Senators also resolved that meningitis vaccinations should be made free across the country, citing the need for agencies of the federal govern­ment to continue to collaborate with the WHO and UNICEF to make the scarce inocula­tions against meningitis read­ily available.


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