Monday, November 29, 2021


As the December 1 date of reckoning approaches when the unprecedented daring mandate of a medical product for all Nigerian civil servants by the FG will get to be tested, a gloomy uncertain atmosphere hangs over the land. The battle line became decisively drawn with the release of a government circular (26th November) formally ending the “work from home” directive for all concerned civil servants; and simultaneously announcing the requirement of COVID vaccine certification (or negative recent PCR results, for now) by “all Federal Government employees” as a necessary condition to access government offices. At a time, when mass protests are entering their second straight week in places like Austria, one can only wonder exactly what is pushing the government in Nigeria into a battle it apparently can’t afford to be engaged with at a time like this. 

One of the first salvos piercing the atmosphere has been the widely trending Open Letter to the President, written by Apostle Moses Oludele Idowu, dated 25th November. We have always held that one of the most effective strategies available to fight this clearly unjustifiable mandate in Nigeria is at the Court of Public Opinion. And the article does quite a great job of this!

In addition to rehashing the well-established points about the total lack of merits of the vaccine on the various grounds of law, logics, science, or ethics, (similar to the Letter to African Leaders or the Press Statement by our Coalition), the Apostle brought into the fray, at least one additional significant factor which might prove critical in the event of the case moving further to the law courts. 

This is the conflict with the clear provisions in the Nigerian Bill of Patients Rights (PBoR) of 2018. In its opening page, The PBoR is described as “an aggregation of patients’ rights that exist in other instruments including, The Constitution, Consumer Protection Act, Child Rights Act, Freedom of Information Act, National Health Act, the Hippocratic Oath, other professional ethical codes and sundry regulations” 

At least three of the dozen Rights enshrined in the Bill are violated with impunity by government’s requirement that civil servants must receive a medical jab; even when that government itself admits that the jab, (for which it will not be liable in the event of any adverse event), prevents neither infection nor transmission of the coronavirus. Its chief value in a vaccinated person being some nebulous “mitigation of the severity of the consequences” of such an infection. 

The very first Article in the Bill of Rights, titled Access to Information, plainly requires that a patient must “have access to all relevant information in a language that the patient understands, including complete and accurate information about diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, other procedures and possible outcomes.” The Provider of services is particularly required to “Inform patient whether proposed treatment or procedure is experimental or part of ongoing research.” Evidently all the vaccines available in Nigeria are granted only EXPERIMENTAL USE AUTHORIZATION and clearly they are part of an ongoing research - since most of the outcomes (efficacy, adverse effects, etc) are only just becoming known with their mass use. To worsen matters, as we reported last week, even for the only vaccine approved by any health authority anywhere (Cominarty by Pfizer – not available in Nigeria, by the way), the US FDA is requesting for a leave of 55 years before relevant information about contents and outcomes of clinical trials could be made available to the general public! 

Article 9 in the PBoR further permits any Nigerian citizen to decline any supposed medical care. It specifically spelled out that “Patients at all times, retain the control of their person and must be informed of their power to decline care upon full disclosure of the consequences of such decisions.” Extending this further, Article 10 further provides that “Patients have the right to consent or decline participation in medical research, experimental procedures or clinical trials in the course of treatment.” Although the Bill grants that “Provider may detain patient in the interest of public health” this is certainly not applicable for an experimental gene therapy being marketed as vaccine, which is known to be incapable of preventing transmission of the virus. Indeed, as we pointed out before, nations with 100% vaccination rate (such as Gibraltar and Seychelles) are still very much in the throes of COVID and are counted among the worst hit. 

Meanwhile, just as predicted, the arrival of yet another new variant of coronavirus deemed to be “of concern” by the WHO has been announced. And with it, a new deluge of heavy-handed restrictions. Interestingly, Indonesia says it is banning arrivals from Nigeria because of this supposed new threat! As is the case for the delta variant, it is emerging that the hype being accorded the new Omicron variant, is attributed to its supposed high infectivity rather than its deadliness. This is at least true for unvaccinated people, especially those who have acquired the robust long-lasting immunity associated with natural recovery. The experimental vaccines being marketed however were developed for a particular variant in mind. And this seems to be one of the major reasons for the high casualty currently associated with COVID in heavily vaccinated countries like Israel, Singapore, Scotland,………… 

 God willing, see you the other side of December 1!

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