Parents Withdraw Children From School Amid Vaccination Controversy In Rivers

Parents Withdraw Children From School Amid Vaccination Controversy In Rivers

A controversy over an alleged forceful vaccination attempt has led some parents to withdraw their children from schools in Rivers State.

Reports on Tuesday morning of a forceful attempt contributed to the scare which comes amid an already raging controversy over medical outreach by the military in parts of the country.

At a private school on East-West Road in Port Harcourt, the state capital, a group of men reportedly dressed in Nigerian Army uniforms demanded to gain entrance into the school forcefully, claiming they were troops attached to ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’.

They were, however, resisted by the school’s administrator who informed Channels Television that one of the men was masked.

While parents came to take away their children, the school proprietress said she got a call informing her that the men meant no harm.

Reacting to the incident, the Deputy Director of Public Relations, 6 Division Nigerian Army, Colonel Aminu Illiyasu, denied the military’s involvement in the act.

In a statement issued on Tuesday in Rivers State, Colonel Illiyasu described the reports that Army personnel were offering vaccines of any kind as “despicable, deplorable and highly condemnable” intended to cause pandemonium among Nigerians.

He said, “The authorities of 6 Division Nigerian Army wishes to inform the general public that while the Nigerian Army plans to undertake such gestures like free medical outreaches, sanitation exercises in host communities and distribution of educational materials as part of our community relations activities during the ongoing Operation Crocodile Smile II, these activities are yet to be conducted and will eventually be conducted with the consent of relevant authorities of designated communities and at venues and dates that will be duly communicated to the general public through future press releases and relevant posters.”

Illiyasu maintained that the Army will never carry out its medical outreaches or vaccination exercises in schools, stressing that the rumours about its personnel going to schools to forcefully immunise children should be ignored.

He further advised the public to call 09072509436-8 to report any case of any “impostor(s)” that may be seen trying to commit such act.

Source: Channels Television

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