Kogi risks banning the festival for not vaccinating athletes

… How the Edo contingent starts the exercise today

Athletes from the state of Kogi may be banned from participating in the 20th National Sports Festival in the state of Edo from April 2 to 14, PUNCH reports.

PUNCH reported that Deputy Governor Edo Philip Shaibu, who is also chairman of the Local Organizing Committee of the sports festival, said athletes must take COVID-19 vaccines before coming to the event.

“All athletes / officials must take the COVID-19 vaccine at least 12 days before coming to the tournament,” Shaibu said in a statement.

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Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, however, said he would not take the COVID-19 vaccine and would also not encourage state residents to take it.

“If the Federal Government is kind enough to give us vaccines against COVID-19, we will equally sensitize our people. “People who want to take it can come and take it, but I will not subject the residents of the state of Kogi to vaccines or vaccinations and I will not make them guinea pigs,” Bello told TV Channels on March 5.

According to the executive director of the National Agency for the Development of Primary Health Care, Dr. Fiasalu Shuaibu, all states except Kogi, have received vaccines against COVID-19 Oxford-AstraZeneca.

When our correspondent contacted the state commissioner for youth and sports development, Idrija Musa, on Thursday, he said that he would not take the vaccine, adding that the state would not determine that athletes take the vaccine.

He said he would withdraw from participating in the sports festival if he was not allowed to enter.

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“I think the government of the state of Edo or the Ministry of Youth and Sports will develop with us to do a test to get confirmation that we are all well, but as for the vaccine, I can’t do anything, say now because the federal government and the state are still in dialogue.

So far, vaccines are not enough even for some countries that have agreed to take them, so our case should not be the yardstick, “Musa said. PUNCH.

“If they say that I cannot participate because I did not take the vaccine, I have to resign, I will not take it.

“We do not encourage anyone to accept that, it is an individual opinion. If you think you have COVID-19 and want to take the vaccine, go ahead and get it, but some of us are healthy, we don’t have COVID-19. How can I take something that the producer did not take? We don’t have a vaccine in Kogi. ”

Reacting, the Special Assistant to the Media Minister of Youth and Sports, John Joshua-Akanji, said that vaccination against COVID-19 is mandatory for athletes who will be admitted to the festival.

“All athletes must be vaccinated,” Akanji told PUNCH.

Meanwhile, athletes and officials on the Edo continent for the festival will begin vaccinating against COVID-19 on Wednesday (today), ahead of the competition.

Project manager for the Edo team, Anehita Emeya, who revealed this to reporters in Benin City, said the team was set up to make the country proud.

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Emeya noted that the practice of vaccinating the contingent was in accordance with the directive of the main and local organizing committee on the mandatory vaccination of all athletes and officials, at least 12 days before coming to the tournament.

The project manager said that the organizers of the competition decided that athletes and festival officials must take COVID-19 tests 72 hours before arriving at the event, with contingents presenting certificates and documentation on tests and vaccinations before they can be admitted to the Village Games.

Emeya added that the state plans to vaccinate about 1,500 people, including athletes, coaches, vendors and drivers.

Written by ‘Tosin Oluwalowo and Adeyinka Adedipe

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