- Peter Obi has declared his support for President Buhari's decision to import Madagascar's COVID-19 herb
- Obi, a former governor and ex-PDP vice-presidential candidate, also advised the president to give similar authorisation to local inventions
- President Buhari had said Madagascar's COVID-19 herb will be subjected to standard validation before administering on coronavirus patients
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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, May 11, directed the presidential task force on COVID-19 to pick up COVID-Organics, Madagascar’s self-proclaimed, plant-based “remedy” for coronavirus.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, broke the news at the daily briefing of the task force on Monday.
Reacting to the development, Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra state and PDP's vice-presidential candidate in the 2019 elections, declared support for President Buhari's decision.
"I firmly support the authorisation of @MBuhari for importation and subjection of the Madagascar #COVID19 Syrup to standard validation process for pharmaceuticals, and possibly for use in the cure of this virus," Obi said in a thread of tweets he posted on Tuesday, May 12.
The former governor further advised that similar authorisation should be given to "local inventions".
He added: "Similar authorisation and encouragement should be given to local inventions. This will save us scarce forex and will give confidence to domestic researchers and inventors."
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the federal government said the plant used for the herbal drug produced by Madagascar grows in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the minister of health, Dr Osagie Ehanire during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, in Abuja.
His words: “We are going to get samples of the herb of the botanical product for analyses and also probably use that opportunity to speak with the health authorities there particularly the scientific community on how they use it.
“We will also give it to the research community here with us to examine and see what they can do with it.
"We understand that it is something called Artemisia Annua, which also grows here. But we would like to get that sample and compare it with the strain here to know if they are exactly identical or similar and then see what properties it has.
“It will be subjected to analysis to find out what works in there and how it works and is used in getting a cure. All countries around the world are interested in finding a cure and we are not different; So we’ll look at all options and promises that have been made.
“Before we give any of these medicines to our people we will make sure they are actually safe and that they work.”
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