Osinbajo, former U.S. envoy meet on polio eradication

Nigeria's Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and former US Ambassador to the UN, Andrew Young, met to discuss ways to sustain the fight against the Wild Polio Virus (WPV) in Nigeria, at the Presidential villa, Abuja.


Young, who came under the aegis of Emeka Offor Foundation, was accompanied by Offor, a Nigerian businessman, whose foundation also worked to eradicate WPV in the country.


Young told State House correspondents after the meeting that the struggle to eradicate polio had been going on for 70 years and that would soon be achieved.


He said “I am here because Nigeria has a chance to strike the final blow in ending wild polio by vaccinating every child as soon as they can.


Everything cannot be done by government; civil society has a strong role to play in education, in health and every aspect of life.


To make change in life, you have to have almost 60 per cent but a small group of dedicated individuals under the leadership of civil society like Offor can make a big difference.”


He said that Offor had taken the lead in making the final steps in stemming the spread of the virus in Nigeria.


Young said that Osinbajo informed them at the meeting of Nigeria’s free education for every Nigerian up to the 9th grade, which he described as a revolution.


“That is a revolution; that is a phenomenal achievement; education and health determine the rate of progress; the number of jobs; the manner of wealth.


I am just pleased that Nigeria with all the faults, everyone else talks about Nigeria as a strong country that is holding together in spite of all of its differences.”


On his part, Offor expressed delight that Nigeria had not had any case of WPV in three years, adding that the effort must be sustained until the virus was eradicated.


He said that they looked forward to WHO certification which would come in March 2020.


Offor said that after the certification, the advocacy had to continue as massive immunisation would continue.