The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, announced last December that the government would vaccinate about 20 million Nigerians against the dreaded COVID-19. Meanwhile, the government this week said its plan was to commence the vaccination of Nigerians against the virus by the March of 2021.

According to information from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Thursday, the country has recorded 94,369 COVID-19 cases and 1,324 deaths. The agency said 1,004,915 samples had been tested and 77, 299 persons discharged.

But despite the fatalities recorded, a cross-section of Nigerians told SaharaReporters that they were not interested in taking any vaccine against COVID-19, even more so when the vaccine did not prevent some of those who have taken it from dying. They said Nigerian leaders must lead by example in that regard.

Here are their responses:

Janet James – Teacher in Ibadan, Oyo State

I guess it should start with the leaders. A leader should be able to test the authenticity of the vaccine. Being the first person to receive the vaccine is a true quality of a leader.

Ken Iselobhor – Entrepreneur, Lagos

Vaccination is not compulsory but necessary. The said vaccination is not 100 percent clinically proven to be safe on humans. If our leaders choose to vaccinate Nigerians, they should start with people who have recovered from COVID-19. I will only take the vaccine if I see a need to, after I have seen multiple successful testimonies over a period of 10 years. Herbs from Ilorin, Kwara State or Ife, Osun State will do the needful.

Damilola Oluwadahun – Teacher, Akure. Ondo State

I won’t take it, even if all Nigerian leaders line up and take it in front of me. The reason is simply that I don’t trust them. They have never cared about us and I don’t think they will ever care. They have consistently made wrong decisions and this might not be an exemption. Anything the government does usually has a selfish undertone. It is going to be about them and not because they care about us.

Chidi Okigwe – Businessman, Lagos

Our leaders should first take it. I don’t have any issue with that scam called COVID-19.

Faith Ndibueze – Graduate, Lagos

No, I am not willing to take any COVID-19 vaccine. The question is, is it real in Nigeria?

Arinze Esomnofu – Journalist, Lagos

I will take the vaccine only if they bring it close to me. I won’t go through any stress to be vaccinated.

Olaide Onakoya – Employee of a private company, Lagos

Not for now. I don’t trust the Nigerian government with lives. I am not very certain it is real. But I agree that we should observe precautions, without needing to take the vaccine.

Faith Lawani – Tech specialist, Ibadan, Oyo State

No. I need proof that it really works. That means seeing the results of clinical trials of all phases and the drawbacks of the trials. Well, I believe anyone should be sure that it works before using it irrespective of status or age. I won’t take it except the initial criteria are met.

Adeola Adeyemo – Businesswoman, Lagos

Let the leaders take the lead. They always like to have the first share of all the goodies. Let President Muhammadu Buhari, for instance, take the vaccine. And, from there we will see how it works, and how it goes.

Kabiru Adesoji – Commercial driver, Ota. Ogun State

Whether President Buhari or his cronies in government accept to be vaccinated or not, I can’t take the vaccine. I’m not sure of the virus yet. How can I bother myself with what is not clear to me? I don’t have any business with both COVID-19 and its vaccine.

Grace Alioke – Writer, Mowe, Ogun State

The leaders should take the vaccine first. Leaders, as the name implies, should lead in all areas, even in vaccination. They should be tested first since age 60 and below is more vulnerable to COVID-19 and Nigerian leadership is from age 35 years. If the leaders prove their responsibility by taking it publicly. I, as a good and willing citizen, would take it.

Janice Okoro, Civil servant, Lagos

No, I’m not easily deceived. I know the antecedent of the vaccine and even if the leaders are publicly administered with the drugs and ask me to choose my job by taking it or lose it, I will lose my job. The scripture says if the days be not shortened, the very elect will be deceived.

Prince Aliyu, Teacher, Lagos

No, I can’t take it. It is just because I don’t have any interest in their vaccine.

Kayode Somoye – Entrepreneur, Lagos

Personally, I don’t trust the Nigerian government so I can’t take the vaccine. Secondly, the leaders should take the vaccine first.

Jumoke Adebayo – Worker in a private company, Lagos

They should start the vaccine with Buhari first.

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