The Borno Government on Thursday announced the closure of over 37 public primary schools in Maiduguri as a result of confusion and pandemonium in its schools over alleged vaccination against Monkey pox disease.
Alhaji Shettima Kullima, the Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), made the announcement in an interview with NAN in Maiduguri.
Kullima said the closure of the affected primary and post basic schools in the capital would continue until further notice.
He explained that the decision to close the schools followed the confusion in the affected schools over alleged administration of harmful monkey pox vaccines to the pupils.
Kullima dismissed allegation as “false and misleading”, saying that the government was not carrying out vaccination in schools.
“It is a rumour perpetrated by mischief-makers to disrupt peaceful learning environment in the schools.
“I was informed of the ugly scenario resulting to the confusion. The schools were directed to close down until we address the issue.
“The State Health Management Development Agency confirmed that there was no such vaccination going on in our schools,” he said.
Public and private school children also deserted their schools over rumored forceful vaccination by Army in Ovwie Local Government Area of Delta State.
The school children in Ugbomro community, were scared and consequently ran out of their schools for fear that soldiers were approaching to forcefully inject them with suspected substances.
Pandemonium erupted in schools when unverified information circulated, alleging that pupils would be immunised with contaminated Monkey pox vaccines. Virtually all schools have become empty with no students or teachers available for activities.
The rumour spread widely in the state capital and many parents rushed to pick their children from schools.
Scuffle ensued between parents and teachers at Sanda Kyarimi, Gwange I and III Primary Schools, who closed their gates against parents who came to take their children home.
A mother, Aisha Bala, said she was told that some non -governmental organizations (NGOs) were allegedly administering ‘virus-contaminated vaccines’ on pupils.
“I am told that any child who receives the vaccine will die. I rushed to save my children from danger,” she said.
Another parent, Malam BubaYusuf, said that he got a message on social media alerting parents about the purported ongoing Monkey pox immunisation, adding that the message indicated that the harmful vaccines would be given to children in public primary schools.
Zainab Idris, a Primary-3 pupil, recounted that she heard other pupils shouting that vaccinators were in the school to administer deadly vaccines on them.
“There was screaming and everybody was running. I rushed towards the gate and made my way out of the school”.
The situation has since brought under control by members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) and security agents deployed
Also, in PORT HARCOURT, There was panic in some primary and secondary schools in Rivers State, especially, those around Nkpolu, Rumuagholu, Rumuosi, Rumuekini and Rumuokoro areas of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Port Harcourt, following news that soldiers were coming to vaccinate pupils against monkey pox.