Trust deficit, hunger, insecurity blunt COVID-19 vaccination response, says CHRICED
Apathy to COVID-19 vaccination in Nigeria and particularly the northern part is traceable to trust deficit among the populace towards their political leaders.
The executive director of the Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED), Dr Ibrahim M. Zikrullahi, gave this insight while speaking NigerianSketch on Thursday in Kano.
He said COVID-19 was not the only thing that Nigerians do not trust their leaders about, adding that “when leaders in the first place rigged themselves into office, they are bound to face crisis of legitimacy, credibility and integrity.
“This mistrust and distrust were accentuated by the coming of COVID-19 when Nigerian politicians demonstrated high level of irresponsibility in the management of resources set aside for the management of the pandemic.”
He pointed out that Nigerian politicians “did not lead by example, as they were going about their daily activities without observing the laid down protocols to prevent the pandemic. They were moving around in large convoys, attending all sorts of gatherings and refusing to use personal protective gears. How do the citizens take the pandemics seriously when their leaders were demonstrating that it was not serious?
“Then, there were the shameful cases of diversion of palliatives across the country. Those incidents had consequences that were negative. The mindset of the populace was reconstructed to suspect the government of using the pandemic to corner resources for their personal gains.
Dr Zikrullahi also holds the view that “governance failure was a critical factor in the assessment of peoples’ response to COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination.
According to him, “With the prevalent insecurity, hunger and general poverty in the land, how do you want the people to respond to COVID-19 vaccination positively. It’s a tall order. It is not practicable. They will be faced with how to cater for their daily needs and secure their lives and livelihoods first before anything else. That may be the reason why in Kano, people will tell you vaccination is not their priority.”
He said the little success recorded in the mobilization of the populace to observe COVID-19 protocol and also take the vaccine were due to the persistent efforts of CHRICED and other organisations in the civil society circle.
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