Security operatives have prevented civil servants and the general public without proof of COVID-19 vaccination and negative PCR tests from accessing government buildings in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Recall that some months ago, the federal government announced that workers who were yet to receive the COVID-19 vaccine would be denied access into government offices from today, December 1.
The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria had however asked the Federal Government to extend till March next year, today’s deadline for the compulsory vaccination of civil servants, a move which the PSC had described as “impossible”, Punch reports.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Nigeria reported two cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus disease.
The Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaibu, had said that as of November 26, a total of 6,242,224 Nigerians had received the first dose of COVID-19.
He also said 3,487,298 Nigerians had received their second dose and therefore fully vaccinated.
This meant only 1.7 per cent of the total population target of 111,776,503 has been vaccinated.
The federal government had last Friday ordered federal workers from Grade Level 12 and below to resume normal duty effective from Wednesday, December 1.
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoCSF), Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, gave the order in a circular with ref. no: HCSF/3065/Vol.1/107 dated November 26, 2021.
She recalled that as part of the measures to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic, officers on GL 12 and below were directed to work from home.
She, however, said President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the Vaccine Mandate Policy, which would require all federal government employees to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
Also, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, had announced that all federal workers would be barred from office from December 1, unless they showed proofs of their vaccination against the coronavirus.
On Monday, some of the federal workers expressed mixed feelings about the development.
While some of them said it was good that the government made the COVID-19 vaccination mandatory in the interest of the nation, few others said it violated their fundamental rights.
“I am happy that the government has made it mandatory for workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19,” a worker with the ministry of power, said.
“It is sad that we don’t trust our government because from the look of things, millions of Nigerians are not willing to take the jab and this is dangerous.
“Look at how the variant is mutating. Look at the Omicron that is ravaging the world. Government must deploy all the resources it has to ensure that all Nigerians are vaccinated not only civil servants. The civil servants are a fraction of the over 200m people in the country. It is saddening that up till now less than 2 per cent have been vaccinated. We are sitting on a time bomb,” he said.