The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), on Monday, hailed the de-listing of Nigeria from polio endemic countries by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The NGF specifically described the decision of the WHO as a historic feat.
The Acting Director-General of the Forum, Alhaji Abdulateef Shittu, pointed out, in Abuja, that the NGF Chairman, Governor Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari of Zamfara State, acknowledged the contribution of all stakeholders both at state and local government levels, who played key roles that resulted in Nigeria scoring this historic goal.
“Every parent that has made their children available for polio vaccination in the past years should be proud of this achievement. Their action has guaranteed a polio-free Nigeria for the unborn generation,” Shittu said.
The NGF Chairman, therefore, felicitated with his fellow governors and their deputies for the vanguard role they played in ensuring the eradication of polio in their states, especially in ensuring that the immunisation “get the desired political leverage and demonstrating leadership by example.”
The governors, Shittu noted, made out time to supervise the supplemental polio campaigns, as well as hosting polio meetings and ensuring that needed counterpart funds were available.
He recalled the decision of the Forum in 2012 to deploy deputy governors to take charge of the day-to-day running of the polio programme in their states and maintained that it remains even more committed to its earlier decisions.
Shittu, however, warned state governors of the dangers of complacency as such might result in Nigeria losing her newly-acquired global status on polio.
The NGF appreciated the co-operation and support of the traditional and religious institutions, health workers, volunteers, international development partners and the federal government and calls for continued commitment and concerted efforts to get Nigeria certified polio-free in another 24 months from now.