Minister of State for health, Ali Pate, said in Sokoto on Sunday that the Federal Government was fully committed to the eradication of polio in the shortest possible time.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Pate made the remark when he paid a courtesy visit to the Sokoto State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mukhtari Shagari.
Pate said it was in line with the commitment that President Goodluck Jonathan met with governors and local government chairmen two months ago to strengthen the ongoing polio eradication efforts in the country.
“The local governments are currently the weak link in the polio eradication efforts and most of them need to do more to reverse the ugly trend,’’ he said.
According to the minister, the Federal Government has noted some significant improvements in the polio eradication campaign.
“We must do everything possible to eradicate polio from Nigeria and Sokoto State is important in this direction. It is so shameful that the virus is still circulating in Nigeria.’’
Pate who is also the chairman of the presidential task-force on polio eradication commended Sokoto State government, the Sokoto Sultanate Council and traditional and religious leaders for their renewed vigour, support and cooperation towards the polio eradication.
Responding, Alhaji Mukhtari said that the state government was partnering with the Federal Government and international donor partners to kick polio out of Nigeria.
“Sokoto State Government is also committed to its total eradication. Polio is creating a very bad image for the state and the country in general.
“It is, however, a happy story that not even a single case of the debilitating disease has been recorded in the state in the recent past.’’
The deputy governor commended President Jonathan for showing keen interest in the eradication of polio.
“The president has shown commitment and has sustained his financial support to ensure the success of the polio eradication campaign.
“Sokoto State Government will not do anything that will make the polio eradication campaign impossible.’’
The Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Ado Mohammed, I his remarks, noted that there had been increased commitment by local governments in the state since the appointment of the deputy governor as the chairman of the state’s task-force on polio eradication.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister also paid an advocacy visit to the District Head of Bodinga, Alhaji Bello Abdulra’uf where he commended the traditional and religious leaders for their invaluable efforts towards ensuring the success of the campaign.
The District Head of Yabo, Alhaji Muhammadu Maiturare II, who is also the chairman of the northern traditional rulers committee on the eradication? of polio, Sokoto West senatorial zone pledged that the traditional institution would continue to support the anti-polio campaign.