The National Inter-Faith Religious Organizations for Peace (NIFROP) is appalled by the anti-vaccine stance of the founder of Christ Embassy, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, who has issued messages to discourage people from taking the COVID-19 vaccines.
NIFROP is concerned that “Oyakhilome has taken his showmanship too far without regard for how his campaign of misinformation impacts the lives of people who treat the utterances emanating from him as the dictate of God.”
According to the faith-based group, the sanctity of the pulpit should not be abused in this manner as it is totally unacceptable that persons who should minister healing are teaching rebellion.
NIFROP disclosed this in a statement by its Director of Media, Reverend Samson Edeh. It believes Oyakhilome got it wrong because COVID-19 vaccine saves lives.
The statement read, “It is our view that Jesus Christ could have healed the blind man as recounted in (Jn. 9:1-7) by merely declaring healing but still chose to use mud because the things created by God are meant for the use of mankind in all ramifications including in the restoration of health and prevention of ill health. The vaccines that Pastor Chris ignorantly canvassed against were researched, developed and produced by human beings created by God in addition to being sourced from sources created by God, so how can they be anti-faith as he proclaimed?
“We find it worrisome that Pastor Chris continues to exploit the people in Nigeria owing to the sectarian sensitivities that allow him to get away with capital murder. It is on record that the regulatory agency for broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Ofcom, slammed him with more than N65 million in fines for spreading the same falsehood through his Loveworld Television. Had the institutional framework in Nigeria being as robust as it is in the United Kingdom, this charlatan would have been slammed with fines in the vicinity of billions of naira, given the potential damage that his unsubstantiated claims would cause the populace.
“NIFROP encourages Nigerians irrespective of their creed to continue to take the vaccine and adhere to all guidelines and protocol for managing the spread of COVID-19 virus because it is right to do so.
“We appeal to the clergy not to shy away from exhorting their members to take the COVID-19 vaccine, which requires faith to be effective anyway. Those entrusted with being shepherds of the flock should not become the death of the flock entrusted to them in a bid to be populist compliant. The fact that some hardcore conspiracy theorists are demonizing vaccination against COVID-19 is not enough reason for people who call themselves men of God to go cheap.
“We further call for those who truly worship God to rise up in condemnation of the misleading campaign that Pastor Chris is waging to discourage people from being vaccinated and thus prevent themselves from falling ill or even dying. No true pastor will encourage his congregants to be suicidal irrespective of how attractive such an option appears to those who have become indoctrinated to not see the danger that their spiritual mentor poses to mankind.
“We demand that the relevant agencies in Nigeria follow the path of Ofcom and visit Pastor Chris Oyakhilome with the corresponding sanctions for all the infractions he has committed in Nigeria by putting out the wrong information about the vaccine.”
Recall that the United Kingdom government had fined Pastor Oyakhilome, £125,000 for unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about COVID-19.
Bandits Lay Siege To Armed Forces Command And Staff College, Jaji
Some criminals, suspected to be bandits, are currently laying siege around the premises of Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) located in Jaji, Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Their mission, according to some locals in the community who spoke to our correspondent during a telephone conversation, was to abduct some staff of the college and the communities around the area.
This is coming in less than two months after bandits stormed the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Mando, also in Kaduna and kidnapped no fewer than 39 students.
AFCSC is a training facility for the Nigerian Armed Forces, including the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force and Nigerian Navy.
A resident of the area, who simply identified himself as Adamu, told Daily Trust via telephone that the bandits have always surrounded the institution while terrorising the communities around the college.
“It is only Allah that has been saving us. They (bandits) have always rustled cows in our communities. Military operatives do engage them in gun battle anytime they come around, that is why we don’t have major casualties yet,” Adamu said.
The Commandant of the college, Air Marshal Olayinka Alade, confirmed this on Wednesday in Abuja when he visited the Army Headquarters to brief Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Attahiru Ibrahim, on the development and other issues in the institution.
Alade said the institution has decided to launch impromptu searching and clearance operations in some communities where the bandits are operating around the college having informed General Officer Commanding 1 Division.
“There are some communities around the school that have developed and because it is like part of the college, maybe they are hiding under that cover, so some bandits are there. Because of that, there is collaboration with other institution’s heads in the college. Constantly, we try to conduct an impromptu searching. We conduct search and patrol from time to time.
“What we discovered now is that, not too far ahead, some communities… it is like all these bandits have made all that place their aim, so I discussed with GOC 1 Div. From time to time, we need to carry out clearance operations,” the AFCSC Commandant said.
The Commandant further disclosed that the bandits rustled some cows behind the college on Tuesday, April 13 – a development that led to gun duel between them and the military operatives.
He, however, did not disclose whether there was any casualty, noting that he came to brief the COAS so as not to be surprised if he hears anything subsequently.
According to him, “In fact, yesterday (Tuesday), I was told that some bandits came to come and rustle some cows just behind us. There was an exercise that was carried out by the NACI. They actually encountered these bandits, they had to exchange fire during the exercise.
“Those are the things we’re trying to ensure that we are not surprised if they have come that close, then, we need to sit tight and ensure we clear that place.”
Deputy Nigeria Ambassador to Jordan, Ibrahim Mohammed,(1st left) the Managing Director Ministry of Tourism and Antiquiies, Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat, (middle) Executive Secretary NCPC, Yakubu Pam (right) during a courtesy visit paid to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in Jordan recently
Coalition Warns Anti-Vaxxers, Urges Nigerians To Disregard Fake News Of COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects
The National Vanguard on Covid-19 Administration and Advocacy has urged Nigerians to treat reports of side effects from the AstraZeneca jab as fake news, noting that some elements are out to frustrate the ongoing vaccination exercise.
This follows the claim of blood vomit by a woman in Kaduna after allegedly being administered the vaccine.
While the state government has vowed to investigate the report, the National Vanguard on Covid-19 Administration and Advocacy said the assertion is the handiwork of anti-vaxxers.
In a statement signed by its Director of Public Enlightenment, Samson Abu, on Saturday, the group, though, admitted potential side effects from the jab, added that some persons are out to sow fear in the minds of Nigerians.
Abu, therefore, appealed to Nigerians to disregard all fake news pertaining to the safety, efficacy and effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to him, the supposed victim is an isolated case yet to be proven by any expert.
The group, however, urged Nigerians to continue to take the vaccine for their good and the safety of their loved ones around them
Read the full statement below:
The National Vanguard on Covid-19 Administration and Advocacy is appalled by the deployment of fake news by anti-vaccine elements in Nigeria in their bid to scare and discourage people from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine that is meant to protect against the Corona Virus and save lives.
The fake news, published with the headline “Woman vomits blood after taking COVID-19 vaccine” is a disingenuous attempt at creating a deepfake given the effort that was made to create the impression that one Hannatu Tanko was rushed to Gwamna Awan General Hospital in Kaduna State because she started vomiting blood after receiving the vaccine.
Interestingly, the same script was published by several blogs and a few undiscerning news sites without the publishers carrying out the necessary checks and without speaking with experts on what could have led to the woman’s condition.
The fake news also created the impression that there is coercion in the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine whereas people are voluntarily accepting the jab owing to their knowledge of how it protects one from catching the deadly virus. Such a desperate act could have only resulted from people that are keen on seeing the pandemic decimate humanity.
With more than half a million so far vaccinated, even if the account of the woman experiencing reactions to the vaccine were correct, the case would be an isolated one and the fact that sources claimed the woman is recovering confirms that the vaccine is safe while any unintended effect would be at worst temporary. We, therefore, find it unacceptable that the isolated and unproven instance is now being used by purveyors of fake news and anti-Vaxxers to discourage Nigerians from taking the vaccine. This is a huge disservice and unacceptable.
For the avoidance of doubts, experts’ views are required to confirm that what a person experiences after taking the jab is related to the vaccine. To do this, the experts would have ruled out that the symptoms exhibited by such are not caused by other underlying factors that coincidentally flared up at about the same time the person took their vaccine.
The National Vanguard on Covid-19 Vaccine Administration and Advocacy consequently warn detractors and anti-vaxxers in Nigeria that they have a responsibility to society to desist from sowing fear in the mind of the people especially when it is apparent that the fake news they are spreading has all the potential to hurt more people than save them.
We appeal to Nigerians to disregard all fake news about the safety, efficacy and effects of the COVID-19 vaccine and only based their decision to accept the jab or not on sound science, which would make them appreciate the benefits it offers. Nigerians, who truly value their wellbeing as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the world, should make it a personal responsibility to take the vaccine for their good and the safety of their loved ones around them.
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