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Ebola: Jonathan Rejects Stigmatization Of Nigerian Travellers

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan

By Ayo Balogun

The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan has condemned stigmatization of Nigerians by some countries due to recent cases of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the country.

Jonathan made the condemnation Wednesday during a meeting with the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. David Navarro.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the president denounced discriminatory actions such as that which forced the Nigeria’s team recently to the Youth Olympics in China to quit its participation.

Jonathan noted that there was no justification for the current embarrassing situation against Nigerians since the virus had been “effectively contained” and never attained epidemic levels, stressing that the discriminatory actions against Nigerians must cease, while urging the UN Secretary General, Mr.  Ban Ki Moon  to support the call.

“All hands have been on deck to contain the virus here. I commend my team and the Lagos State Government. We have been able to set politics aside and work in unison to deal with a national threat.

“All other Nigerians have played a part too by complying with the directives and advice we have issued to stop the virus from spreading any further. The success we have had is a testimony to what we can achieve as people if we set aside our differences and work together,” President told Mr. Navarro.

He assured the Envoy that in spite of the seeming success of  its containment measures, the Federal Government and its agencies would remain vigilant to guard against further cases of Ebola in the country.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and we will also support other affected African countries as much as we can because we cannot be completely safe from the virus as long as it continues to ravage some countries in our sub-region and continent. We will continue to work with the international community to curb the outbreak in other countries,” Jonathan pledged.

Mr. Navarro who had visited the worst hit countries such as Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, by Ebola told Mr. President that he had come, on the instruction of the UN Secretary-General, to applaud Nigeria’s successful containment of the virus.

“The Secretary-General asked me to come here too, not because you have an Ebola problem, but because you have tackled it in an exemplary fashion.

“Your personal leadership on the matter has been key. There may still be some work to be done before the virus is completely cleared out from here, but other countries can learn from your fine example,” Mr. Navarro told the President.


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