Meningitis: Governor accused of mishandling outbreak in state with over 200 deaths, blames ‘God’

Zamfara Governor, Abdulaziz Yari [Photo: The Guardian Nigeria]
Zamfara Governor, Abdulaziz Yari [Photo: The Guardian Nigeria]

Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State has said that the ongoing outbreak of Type C Cerebrospinal Meningitis is God’s way of showing his anger against Nigerians for turning their back on him.

Mr. Yari said this on Tuesday while speaking with journalists at the presidential Villa Abuja shortly after meeting with President Muhammdu Buhari.

Zamfara is the worst hit state since the outbreak of the disease, with over 200 persons killed and several others receiving treatment at various hospitals and clinics.

The Nigeria Medical Association in Zamfara had last weekend accused the government of Mr. Yari of failing to prepare for the outbreak despite warnings, and not responding adequately to the epidemic.

Some residents, who also spoke to PREMIUM TIMES over the weekend, accused the government of “neglect”.

Mr. Yari however said the outbreak might not be unconnected to the people’s total disregard of God’s commandments.

“What we used to know as far as meningitis is concerned is the type A virus. The World Health Organisation, WHO, has carried out vaccinations against this type A virus not just in Zamfara, but many other states.

“However, because people refused to stop their nefarious activities, God now decided to send Type C virus, which has no vaccination.

“People have turned away from God and he has promised that ‘if you do anyhow, you see anyhow’ that is just the cause of this outbreak as far as I am concerned.

“There is no way fornication will be so rampant and God will not send a disease that cannot be cured,” the governor said.

Dispelling insinuations that his government failed to act accordingly, Mr. Yari said he called an emergency meeting comprising of all top state and local government officials and traditional rulers, adding that “the meeting came out with a strategy to be adopted and the money required to deal with the outbreak and a lot of work is going on”.

The Zamfara governor said relevant organisations across the globe had announced that there were only 5 million doses of the vaccine against the Type C virus. “That is not enough for Zamfara people alone, not to talk of Katsina or Kano,” he said.

He said Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health has only 50,000 doses of the vaccine, out of which 20,000 was given to Zamfara state because of the high rate of the disease in the state.

“Our focus as a state now is to continue treating those who are infected with the disease, but as for vaccination, it has an international dimension.

“We have information that Nigeria will get the highest percentage of the 5 million doses available now. Apart from WHO, other International bodies such as the Bill Gates foundation and UNICEF are also currently focusing on how to tackle the outbreak,” he said.

The governor express the hope that the outbreak would eventually be tackled, but, hsaid “the most important thing is for our people to know that their relationship with God is not smooth. All they need to do is repent and everything will be all right.”

Asked if only the people need repentance and not leaders, Mr. Yari said “leaders are doing their best by enlightening the populace and working assiduously for the good of all.

“Your major assignment as a leader is to convey the message; you cannot go from house to House and arrest offenders for instance,” he said.


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  • Kevin Peter

    How pious are you Mr. Governor by insinuating that those who’ve died were sinners? God says you should not judge!

  • amazing2012

    You can hear how this ignorant person wants to use god to deceive poor people. Yes, it is the wish of God for everything that happens on earth but is it the wish of God for your not pay attention to the welfare of the people? The sickness affects mostly poor people because of lack of awareness, cleanliness and acute poverty that may force 5 or above people to live in one room that is not ventilated.
    Mr. governor it is the responsibility of government, not God to make people be aware of the sickness and how to prevent it.
    Mr. pious it is your responsibility to ensure cleanliness of their environment to prevent sicknesses.
    It is when you play your role then you can submit to God, not you are busy stealing their money and blaming God for your weakness and failure.
    Apologize to them and ask God for forgiveness now!

    • Otile

      Don’t underrate the power of Allah. Do you know that pious Muslims living in the areas controlled by Imam Abubakar Shekau are not suffering meningitis attacks? Pure life and good heart can ward off calamities in your life. You read the Holy Qur-an and Hadith but you do not understand.

      • amazing2012

        As reported in Isaiah 45:7 ” I form the light, and create DARKNESS: I make peace and creates EVIL: I the lord do all these things”?
        Please give your reference in the quran and hadith, if you are not ignorant and blind antichrist!!

    • AryLoyds

      How Ironic of the Governor , religious Sharia is in Zamfara and yet God is still Punishing them with this disease.,

  • MaskedPhantom

    Can anyone please cite the passage in the Qur’an where “God” says “If you do anyhow, you see anyhow”?

  • zacchaeus Akinleye

    Mr. Yari’s ignorance disqualifies him from any pretense to leadership at any level. It is a shame that Zamfara state undulates from one religious extremist, Sani Yerima, who fouled the landscape with “Sharia” as a cure to social malfeasance to an unmitigated ignoramus, Abdulaziz who thinks patients of a disease are under the wrath of his false “God”, one who had no qualms exacting judgement on many innocent children.

  • Frank Bassey

    This is just the beginning.

  • TOBBY777

    GOD can’t punish the poor in Nigeria to demonstrate his anger, he will rather punish the rich who have turned his creatures to dustbins. WITHOUT LOVE, LIFE IS A MISTAKE.

    • Tunji Olarewaju

      Can you imagine the arrogance of this idiot?Now,i agree with the wailers :Nigeria don enter one chance with these fools driving and conducting

      • Otile

        Don’t blame those you call wailers. People are wailing because they are hungry, they got no light, their Naira is almost worthless, they don’t enjoy good medical care as Imam Buhari and children do. You better come back from London and see what Nigeria looks like under Imam Mohamed Buhari. It is easy for you to enjoy light and good life in London and then turn around to call hardworking Nigerians wailers. Lanre say better.

  • Tunji Olarewaju

    Please, please don’t tell me I’m reading this! A governor that’s alleged to have stolen 500 million (without refutation from his office), talking about Allah visiting His anger on the impoverished people under his domain? Can you beat that?! Allah, we,Muslims,have no portion in this charlatan!!!

  • Otile

    How come there is no outbreak of meningitis in the area held by Imam Abubakar Shekau?

  • With a governor that reasons like this, one can only feel pity for the people of Zamfara state.