The President, Muhammadu Buhari, has on Tuesday said that he has fulfilled his pledge to rid Nigeria of the indigenous wild polio virus.
On Tuesday, the World Health Organisation declared Nigeria and the rest of Africa polio-free via an online event across the continent and beyond.
Speaking at the event, Buhari recalled that he had vowed that he would not hand over a Nigeria with polio to his successor, a promise he has fulfilled.
The president said, “This is, indeed, a truly historic event. I recall shortly after assuming office in 2015, I made a pledge to Nigerians that I would not bequeath a polio-endemic country to my successor.”
According to him, this certification is, therefore, a personal fulfillment of that pledge, not only to Nigerians but to all Africans.
He further congratulated the entire continent and the African Union leadership for crossing the finish line.
“At a time when the global community is battling with the COVID-19 pandemic, this achievement strengthens my conviction that the requisite political will, investments, and strategies, as well as citizens’ commitment, will flatten the pandemic curve,” says Buhari.
He affirmed the commitment of all African leaders in this course of action, while urging them that they must guard this achievement jealously and ensure that they take all necessary steps to prevent the resurgence of this deadly disease.
The president appreciated the strong partnership and collaboration displayed to deliver this success.
He, therefore, promised the global community that Nigeria will “sustain the momentum and leverage on the lessons learnt from the polio eradication to strengthen our health systems, especially primary healthcare and prioritise health security”.
Others present at the event were WHO officials; the CEO, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, Seth Berkley; Director, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Redfield; chairperson, Africa Regional Certification Commission, Rose Leke; and some polio survivors.Follow us on social media