The Christian Association of Nigeria has warned that the corceion of worshippers into getting COVID-19 vaccines is a violation of fundamental rights.
This comes after Governors Rotimi Akeredolu and Godwin Obaseki of Ondo and Edo States, respectively, issued an ultimatum for vaccination, noting that it is a condition to access public places, churches, mosques.
However, The PUNCH quoted CAN's President, Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, as stating that worshippers have a right to decide whether they want to take the COVID-19 vaccine or not.
In a statement on Wednesday titled, ‘Political leaders should learn to Tolerate Citizens’ Criticism of Policies and Programmes of Government”, the association urged the government to embark on enlightenment instead of “coercing” people to take the vaccine.
Ayokunle explained that it was improper for the government to make the taking of COVID-19 vaccines compulsory for Muslim and Christain worshippers.
He said, “On the other hand, CAN urges the government of Edo State to rescind its plan to bar people who could not show the evidence of vaccination from entering the church, mosques and public events centres beginning from this month of September.
“While we fully support vaccination, we equally recognize that vaccination depends on individual choice. In view of the foregoing, coercing people into getting vaccinated is a violation of the fundamental right of each individual.
“Let the government and all of us be emphasizing the observance of COVID-19 protocols all the time. The vaccines available now in the country through the Federal Government is far below the population of Nigeria need the vaccine.
“We call for improved sustainable public enlightenment, synergy and strategy in the management of the situation. Let wisdom and sound judgment prevail.
“May the Lord wipe away the infection from Nigeria quickly and from all over the globe in Jesus’ name.”