Govt bars unvaccinated civil servants, military issues directive

The Federal Government has threatened to sanction unvaccinated civil servants, who returned home after they were barred from entering their offices on Wednesday.

The Technical lead of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Dr  Mukhtar Muhammed, who disclosed this in an interview with one of our correspondents,  said the adamant civil servants would be sanctioned according to the civil service rules.

The PSC on COVID-19, headed  by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, had in October said that federal civil servants without proof of COVID-19 vaccination or test results done within 72 hours would be denied access to their offices starting from December 1 (yesterday).

Mustapha said the directive would be applicable in all locations in Nigeria and missions abroad. As the enforcement began on Wednesday,  security operatives barred civil servants with no proof of vaccination and negative PCR tests from accessing government buildings in Abuja.

Our correspondents, who visited government facilities such as the Federal Secretariat complexes phase one and phase two; Head of Service building; Radio House and the Ministry of Justice, observed that while other civil servants availed themselves of the opportunity to get vaccine, some others went home.

When asked what would happen to workers who returned home, Mohammed said, “There is a civil service rule that takes care of that aspect. They will be sanctioned according to that.”

But spokesperson for the Joint Health Sector Unions, Olumide Akintayo, in a separate interview with The PUNCH however,  berated the Federal Government over what he tagged as infringement of the rights of the civil servants.

Akintayo urged the government to transfer its vaccination mandate to security operatives.

He said, “I have said this before, there is a certain level of human rights every citizen should enjoy. Fundamentally, it is not even right for civil servants to be forced to get vaccinated. Yes, this is a public health emergency but these people have rights. Now, we do not even have enough vaccines yet, when you force civil servants to get vaccinated what happens to others? They should go and die?

“The government needs to go and strategise and extend the vaccine mandate to security operatives. The police and civil defence because these people even interact more with  the public than the civil servants. Let us stop infringing on the rights of civil servants, let the ones interested get vaccinated but if they insist, let them extend the mandate to the security operatives.

DHQ issues circular on vaccination in military

Meanwhile the Acting Director of  Defence Information, Air Commodore Wap Maigida, told one of our correspondents that a circular had been issued to the military intimating them of the vaccine mandate.

He said, “The government has given specific directives on compulsory vaccination for civil servants and in line with this, we have issued a circular in our formations , commands and we have advised our people to go and receive vaccine jabs. However, our people and their families are being sensitised from time to time to protect themselves.”         ,,

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