Schools shutdown in the South East over alleged killer injections by soldiers

There was panic in the South East region of the country on Wednesday following claims that some people dressed as soldiers were going around schools for “immunization”.

Parents and guardians rushed to the schools to take their wards home and the streets were littered with hundreds of school children rushing back home.

The development could be connected to the free medical outreach launched by the army as part of its just concluded ‘Operation Python Dance II’ in the region.

The panic was reported across almost all the states of the South East, including Abia, Anambra and Imo.

A parent who spoke to ICIR on the condition of anonymity from Umuahia, the Abia State capital, said she recieved a call from her a friend who told her to rush to her son’s school and take him home.

She said her friend told her that some soldiers were sighted in a primary school in Afara and they said they were there to immunize the children.

“I was at home when somebody called me and said that people were running in Afara, that was the first place they mentioned,” She said.

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“When I went to collect my child, you need to see how the main road was filled with people who were rushing to collect their children.

“And one of the teachers in my school, because that’s the school where I teach also, said that a teacher who called her from Afara said soldiers came to their school and said they wanted to immunize the pupils.

“According to the person that called her, when the school turned down the immunization offer, the soldiers got angry and started shouting at them.

One of the pictures sent by the source from Umuahia

“I just picked my child and went back home. You needed to see the main road how it was filled with people running helter scelter.

“I just hope people won’t even get injured while running for their lives. I don’t know exactly what happened but I’m waiting for my husband to return. I know he will have details.”

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Afara is the hometown of Nnamdi Kanu, Leader of the now proscribed Indigenous People of Niafra, IPOB.

There have been rumours that the outbreak of the monkeypox disease was as a result of free medical outreaches being organised by the federal government.

However, Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture described the allegations as baseless and the handiwork of unscrupulous persons.

”The Federal Government has not conducted any free medical service or care in either Bayelsa or Rivers state, as alleged in the fake report being circulated. So that could not have been the cause of the outbreak of Monkey Pox in both states,” Mohammed said on Sunday.

But the Nigerian Army has not issued any statement to refute the rumours.

Some Nigerians took to twitter to express their fear, yet there was no reaction from the Army whose verified twitter handle is @HQNigerianArmy.

However, a press release purportedly from the Anambra State government explained that the exercise was part of the Army’s social responsibility to the members of the public.

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The statement added that Willie Obiano, the State Governor had directed that the exercise be discontinued until appropriate sensitisation has been conducted to educate the people on the benefits.

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