President Muhammadu Buhari says he has fulfilled his pledge to rid Nigeria of the wild poliovirus.
Global Times Nigeria had earlier reported that the World Health Organisation on Tuesday declared Nigeria and the rest of Africa polio-free via an online event across the continent and beyond.
Meanwhile, speaking at the event, Buhari said he promised Nigerians that he would not hand over a Nigeria with polio to his successor, and has fulfilled that promise.
“This is indeed a truly historic event. I recall shortly after assuming office in 2015, I made a pledge to Nigerians that I would not bequeath a polio-endemic country to my successor,” Buhari said
“This certification is, therefore, a personal fulfillment of that pledge, not only to Nigerians but to all Africans.”
Buhari congratulated the entire continent and the African Union leadership for crossing the finish line.
The last case of wild poliovirus in the region was detected in 2016 in Nigeria and since 1996, polio eradication efforts have prevented up to 1.8 million children from crippling life-long paralysis and saved approximately 180 000 lives.