By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah |
It was an eventful week at the seat of power. Last weekend, President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo received the first doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Buhari and Osinbajo got the jab live on TV a day after the COVID-19 national vaccine programme commenced with the vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers at the National Hospital, Abuja.
The president and vice president received the first shots of the vaccine at the New Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja in the presence of members of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, senior government officials and journalists.
The personal physician to the president, Dr Sanusi Raafindadi, administered the vaccine on him while that of the vice president was done by his personal physician, Dr Nicholas Audifferen.
The public show was to convince Nigerians that the vaccine is safe. There was scepticism about the vaccine among some political and religious leaders. While some don’t even believe in the existence of Covid-19 despite the fact that some prominent Nigerians have died from the virus, some posit that the vaccine was meant to kill Nigerians.
One of the most ridiculous news on the subject in recent times was a post on social media where some people alluded that the president was injected with multivitamins and not the vaccine. Some even wondered why the president vaccinated on the right hand while Osinbajo was vaccinated on the left as if there is a law that everybody must be vaccinated on a particular arm.
In a country where people believe the most ridiculous stories, it’s not surprising that proponents of this theory were getting lots of traction on social media.
The intention of the public show of the vaccination was to convince Nigerians but the ‘adjudicators’ are yet to really convince Nigerians to go for vaccination. The federal government has said it plans vaccinating about 70 percent of the population to achieve herd immunity.
Also on Monday, Osinbajo clocked 64. The vice president, a professor of Law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, is said to be the most educated vice president in the history of Nigeria. One thing that stands him out is his outstanding loyalty to his principal.
In his message, President Buhari described Osinbajo as “a reliable and dedicated deputy who is not only admirably competent, but also exudes confidence and passion in the performance of his job.”
“I’m proud to have selected Osinbajo as my running mate and he has given a good account of himself since our journey began in 2015.
“The vice president is a cool-headed gentleman who puts the interest of Nigeria above other narrow considerations,” he added.
Buhari also noted that Osinbajo is an incredibly patient politician who demonstrates remarkable intellectual and mental energy in the discharge of his duties.