President Muhammadu Buhari weekend celebrated the declaration of Nigeria as a polio- free nation by agencies of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
An elated president Buhari wrote letters of appreciation to world leaders and partners for their support towards helping Nigeria to attain a Wild Polio Virus (WPV) free status.
A statement signed by the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, said the president pledged in his letters that his administration would sustain the momentum and strengthen the primary health care system in the country.
A letter the president wrote to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as chairman, Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication read in part:
“This is to express our appreciation for your leadership of the Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication and Immunization. The declaration of Nigeria as a Wild Polio free country is the result of your effective coordination of the Nigerian Polio eradication program through the Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization , Federal Ministry of Health and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
“I urge you to sustain the momentum as I look forward to us leveraging on the polio infrastructure and experience to drive other health interventions.”
The president also wrote a separate letter to German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, thanking the European country for decades of financial support to the Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) programme in Nigeria through KfW.
President Buhari wrote: “Please be assured that my government will remain committed and focused to ensuring the needed resources will be provided to sustain the momentum and strengthen the primary health care system of our great country.”
The president also thanked traditional and religious leaders who through their leadership built community trust for the polio programme. He specifically wrote to Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Saad 111, the leadership of Jama’atul-Nasiri Islam (JNI), and the president, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
The president also appreciated Bill Gate , WHO, EU, U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, UNCF, World Bank Group, Global Affairs, Canada, Japan International Cooperation Agency and International President of Rotary club.
He appreciated the support of Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Emeka Offor and Kayode Fayemi as chairman, Nigerian Governors Forum.