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How Army Vaccination Caused Free Pandemonium In Igboland by Our daily News

How Army Vaccination Caused Free Pandemonium Igboland by Our daily News
It’s a wicked rumour- Army
– Why we believed in the rumour-parents
– Drug imported from Iran, MASSOB claims
– Govt refutes claim, appeals for calm
The frosty political relationship between the federal government and the people of south eastern Nigeria and the resultant mutual suspicion took a dramatic and bizarre twist last Wednesday when a routine free inoculation programme launched by the Nigerian military, as part of the Operation Python Dance II, triggered a widespread pandemonium across Igboland.
What started as a mere rumour that some military officers were going round schools, injecting school children with suspicious drugs, allegedly responsible for the monkey pox disease now ravaging parts of the South-South and spreading to the South East, eventually snowballed into a bedlam with parents withdrawing their kids from schools, thus shutting down academic activities.
Orient Daily gathered that the free military medical services, which had already been administered at Nkwoagu Abakaliki community of Ebonyi state, Obim in Isiukwuato local government area of Abia state, Imo and Oji River Enugu state, took a controversial twist when the arrival of military medical officials at Ozubulu in Ekwusigo local government area of Anambra state triggered an alarm.
Soon, the rumour of a purported massive death of inoculated kids at Ozubulu went viral, forcing parents and guardians across the state and beyond to withdraw their children and wards from schools to avoid the inoculation.
Orient Daily reporters, who monitored the dramatic events that engulfed most cities in Anambra, Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi and Imo states, gathered that most parents who rushed to schools to withdraw their children were acting on a widely circulated message in the social media platforms – Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter – which forewarned them of the impending military medical outreach.
The message, whose author and source of origin is yet to be ascertained, had declared: “Please call your family, tell them not to participate in any free medical care by Nigerian government; they want to reduce South East population, they did it in Bayelsa that was the result of the monkey pox that is killing children right now. It’s a virus. Send it to people you know that live in the South East, you might save lives…”
The suspicion that the military medical officials had been specifically ordered to inject school children with the dreaded monkey pox viral drug, as the rumour mongers had speculated, became the ultimate spark that sent parents and well-wishers speeding in the direction of their children’s schools.
While many public and private schools threw their gates open and parents whisked away their kids in some schools where management denied parents access into the compound, a crowd of pleading parents cluster around demanding for their kids. A mild drama played out in one of the school around Awka, the Anambra state capital, when some parents, demanding the release of their kids in front of the school compound, suddenly took to their heels when they saw a military patrol vehicle heading towards them.
Eye witness account further disclosed that the sudden flight of parents at the gate also triggered massive pandemonium inside the school as the school management, teachers and students scampered to safety, thinking that the military personnel were coming to kill them.
Expectedly, hours later, the authority of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu, issued a public statement, describing the rumour that triggered the pandemonium as a wicked lie and complete blackmail. The military explained that the free medical outreach was part of the Operation Python Dance II (Egwueke).
The Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 82 Division, Nigerian Army, Col. Sagir Musa, who led a team of journalists to some centers explained further: “we regard this Ozubulu as a host community in Onitsha with the kind gesture of the General Officer Commanding 82 Division of the Nigerian Army Enugu, Major General Adamu Abubakar. We did not inject patients let alone injecting with killer drugs, you pressmen are here with us physically, you have not seen any injection, not syringe at all”.
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“All these are rumour as we are not injecting anybody, you have seen the Chairman of Ekwusigo local government area, Engr Ofodieme Ikenna, the state commissioner for health. Dr. Joe Akabuike is also here; we are here purely on medical mission, to give free medical services to the people, neighbouring communities.

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