The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, has urged political leaders in Nigeria to take the COVID-19 vaccine publicly.
The traditional ruler stated this would encourage more Nigerians to get vaccinated.
Abubakar spoke in Abuja on Friday at a Sensitisation Programme on COVID-19 vaccine for Muslim Scholars and Imams.
He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari received the jab on TV earlier in the month and that Nigeria received 3.94 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines through the COVAX facility
“We believe that all political leaders must take the COVID-19 vaccine first before the common man on the street because they are our leaders,” Abubakar said.
The Sultan regretted that some people still do not believe in the existence of the pandemic.
“We believe because we have lost many of our close friends and family members. It is left for you to want to take the vaccine because we will not force you.”
The Sultan appealed to Nigerians to show interest in the COVID-19 vaccine, the same way it did with the polio vaccine. “Today we are polio-free,” he said.
He urged Islamic leaders to educate people in their constituencies on the safety and importance of vaccines.
Coronavirus has infected more than 122 million people globally and killed 2.7 million since the outbreak in late 2019.