COVID-19 Vaccination: Religious Leader Cautions against Fake News, Conspiracy Theories

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By Aisha Ahmed

A religious leader in Kano, Dr Bashir Umar, has warned against undue conspiracy and spreading of fake news on the COVID-19 vaccination.

Umar gave the warning at a one-day forum, organised for religious leaders on Sunday in Kano.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the forum was organised by the Islamic Forum of Nigeria to educate religious leaders on the importance of COVID-19 vaccination.

The forum was also aimed at explaining to the religious leaders the need for them to mobilise their followers, ahead of the vaccination.

Umar noted that it was wrong for people to jump into conclusion on issues not known to them, especially as they related to public health issues.

According to him, there have been many myths on vaccinations, long before now, adding that most of the vaccinations have proved to yield results.

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“The conspiracy theories have it that the vaccination is aimed at depopulation and other things, yet they have a better avenue of depopulation, which they can use,” he stated.

The Islamic scholar, however, reflected on the prophetic traditions about vaccination, saying that people should refer to traditions, whenever they were in doubt.

In his remarks, Dr Abdulrazaq Garba, the Kano State Co-Chairman of the COVID-19 Task Force, tasked residents on carrying out researches on vaccinations.

“People should develop habits of making enquiries from people who are knowledgeable on issues, instead of adopting fake news,” he said.

Garba explained that recently, there had been a lot of false narratives in circulation concerning the vaccination, thus scaring and casting doubts on public minds.

On his part, the Director, Centre for Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Bayero University, Kano, Prof. Isa Abubakar, described vaccinations as products of research.

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According to him, vaccines are not just created for people to toy around with, rather, they emerge as an outcome of solution to diseases.

Abubakar appealed to the public to reason and believe in their leaders, who were urging them to come out for vaccination.

“We all belong to same faith and we will not, for whatever reason, conspire with anyone to harm our very own people,” he said.

Prof. Salisu Shehu, the Executive Secretary of Islamic Forum of Nigeria, while explaining the aims of the forum, said it was to mobilise religious leaders.

”If the religious leaders are educated on the subject, they will basically create awareness for their followers,” he stated.


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