Abdulaziz Yari, Zamfara state governor, said his comments on meningitis outbreak were taken out of context in an attempt to embarrass him and “tarnish his rising reputation”.
The governor was reported to have said that God sent the Type C strain of meningitis to Nigeria because of the sins of fornication.
His comments had elicited heavy backlash from many prominent persons and most Nigerians, especially on social media.
Yari’s special adviser on media and public enlightenment, Ibrahim Magaji Dosara, reacted in a statement saying because “some people are out there to ridicule him at the slightest opportunity and make a mountain out of a mole hill with a view to tarnishing his rising reputation, the innocuous statement was misinterpreted and quoted out of context for reasons best known to the authors”.
According to the statement, the governor believes that all diseases come from God, but never said Nigerians were being punished with the meningitis outbreak.
Dosara stated that the governor simply borrowed “teachings of Islamic traditions” to buttress a point he was trying to convey.
“Let it be known too that the governor still insists that all diseases come from God and that at no point in his interaction with the reporters did he insinuate that God was punishing Nigerians but instead drew from the teachings of great Islamic traditions to buttress the point he was trying to convey,” the spokesperson said.
“The governor said the situation was unfortunate because the state does not have enough vaccines yet for the Type C Meningitis.
“The governor thereafter enjoined all Nigerians to embrace prayers, as God who is aware of the outbreak of the ailment surely has antidote for it.
“No doubt, as a God-fearing man, and a Muslim, the governor believes in the powers of God to inflict whatever punishment He decides on the human race. However, the governor who spoke in Hausa had a particular audience in mind when he spoke to the BBC Hausa reporter.
“The governor said for example, that fornication “should not spread so much in society that it becomes common place and if that happens, God promises to inflict, on its perpetrators (people) a sickness that would have no cure.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Zamfara State Government in conjunction with relevant federal government agencies is making frantic effort to contain the outbreak of meningitis in the state by taking immediate steps to secure appropriate vaccines for the latest health challenge.
“Let it be on record that the state under the leadership of Governor Abdulaziz Abubakar Yari will not abandon the well being of the people, who elected him to pilot the affairs of the state for any other thing,” Dosara said.