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T.B. Joshua shuns Chris Oyakhilome, endorses vaccine for Nigerians

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As COVID-19 cases increase amidst the second wave, the founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations Temitope Joshua on Wednesday appealed to the public to support and cooperate with the government in the production and distribution of vaccines.

The Buhari administration has said it was exploring the option of local production of the vaccines in the country.

On Monday, health minister Osagie Ehanire said that the government was releasing N10 billion to support the local production of vaccines.

Endorsing the vaccine, Mr. Joshua, in a one minute, 48 seconds video on his social media page said he believes that the government is only striving hard to get the country out of its current situation.

“Concerning the ongoing situation in the world, I have received thousands of emails on the COVID-19 vaccine. No doubt, there are many conspiracy theories surrounding this vaccine,” he said. “However, my belief is that our governments are only trying to look for a way out of this very challenging situation, although there may be bad faith in certain quarters.”

Acknowledging that vaccines trigger some negative reactions, the cleric recounted how he experienced the same after chloroquine.

“Many people have complained of some negative reactions but this is always the case with vaccines of this nature. I remember I used to have such reactions whenever I took chloroquine. That does not mean chloroquine is bad. It works positively for many.

“At this time, our governments need our support and our cooperation – because the world is in a dilemma. God bless you. Emmanuel!” Mr. Joshua said.

Mr. Joshua’s advice could prove critical for millions of Nigerians who are yet to accept vaccines as an innocuous but potent medical intervention against the ravaging virus, which has sickened nearly 100 million people over the past one year.

Some pentecostal preachers like Chris Oyakhilome have deepened suspicion amongst citizens by using the pulpit to propagate baseless conspiracy theories against COVID-19 vaccines. Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello also falsely claimed the vaccines were produced to kill people, despite producing no evidence and lacking requisite scientific background to reach such conclusions.

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