There was apprehension in Asaba, capital city of Delta state as parents run helter skelter to withdraw their children from schools following the rumour of monkey pox injunction on pupils by the Army.
Our correspondent learnt that the rumour which went viral saw parents and guidance rushing to both public and private schools Asaba and its environs to withdraw their children and wards to prevent any form of injection been administered on them.
However the rumour which turned out to be false, our correspondent gathered, also took place in the neighbouring Anambra state.
Reacting to the panic, the Delta state Commissioner for Information, Patrick Ukah stated that panic was based on the “falsehood and rumors making the rounds that some persons or groups are going to schools to forcefully inject children to death.”
According to a statement signed by Mr. Ukah and made available to the media, “The attention of the Delta State Government have been drawn to the fact that parents and guidance are going to schools to withdraw their children and wards out of panic. Government hereby states without equivocation that there is no iota of truth behind this rumour as there is no vaccination currently going on in schools across the State.
“The state government has advised school heads to ensure optimum security in their schools by paying attention to all children and wards until the close of schools when parents or guardians come to take them home.
“Accordingly, the state Government has by this announcement advised Security agencies to be on the alert and to nip in the bud the antics of mischief makers who may want to take advantage of this falsehood and rumour to cause havoc. Residents of the state are advised to be calm and go about their normal businesses.” the statement assured residents.
In the same vein, the Anambra state government has suspended the ongoing medical outreach by the Nigerian Army in some parts of the state.
In a statement signed by Prof Solo Chukwulobelu, Secretary to the Anambra State Government, said “The attention of the State Government has been drawn to an on going medical outreach being undertaken by the Army in Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Government Area.
“The State has been made to understand that the exercise is part of Army social responsibility to members of the public. However, strong apprehension among the populace has followed the exercise leading to withdrawal of students from schools by parents, misconception of the actual motive behind the exercise by stakeholders, community leaders and a general reservation by the public for whom the outreach is intended.”