Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki yesterday insisted that there was no going back on “no vaccination, no access” into public places despite the order of a high court in Rivers State.
A high court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State had on Monday directed the Edo State government to maintain the status quo on the purported compulsory vaccination of its citizens with the COVID-19 vaccine.
Governor Obaseki in an apparent reaction to the High Court directives described the judgement as pre-emptive and speculative adding that it was his sacred duty to protect the health of the citizens of the state.
He said, “To the best of our knowledge, the order is at best speculative and pre-emptive as the scheduled date for the commencement of the enforcement of the directive by the state government is the second week of September, 2021.
“It must be stated that there is an obvious misconception that the directive issued by the government was to make vaccination compulsory for all citizens.
“Although the state governor, in truth, has the power to make such an order under the Gazetted Quarantine Regulations, this directive is actually only a denial of access to public places of persons who chose not to be vaccinated.
“We believe the government’s overriding concern is the safety and health of its citizens.”
“We are currently confronted with a situation wherein the Case Positivity Rate (CPR) for COVID-19 hovers between 15 and 25 per cent as deaths are consistently being recorded daily from COVID-19, with unvaccinated persons accounting for 100 percent of deaths in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
“Government, therefore, finds it strange that some persons in purported pursuit of their fundamental human rights would embark on litigation tourism outside of our state, seek to become a source of public health danger and put at risk the safety and health of the larger population.
“The Edo State Government has, therefore, instructed its lawyers to vigorously pursue and challenge all such orders in the courts from where they emanate and if necessary, at the appellate level, while affirming its position as a law-abiding government.
It must be made clear that the Government shall continue to pursue all legal and administrative options available for the protection of the best interest of the good people of Edo State”.