APC to Jonathan: TAN’s rallies endanger Ebola control

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In Nigeria
Aug 29th, 2014
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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to halt the rallies being organised across the nation by the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) for his re-election.

The party noted that the rallies were jeopardising Nigeria’s efforts to control the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

In a statement yesterday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC said: “Mr. President, you said your ambition is not worth the life of any Nigerian. But the TAN rallies for your re-election are endangering the lives of thousands of Nigerians in these days of Ebola. Some things must simply transcend politics. This is one of them. Please, stop the rallies now.”

It urged the President to ensure that the rally slated for Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Saturday, is stopped, because of the spread of the Ebola virus to the city and the fact that 100 people have been placed under surveillance there, following the death of a doctor from a suspected Ebola disease.

APC said: “If TAN goes ahead to organise its rally in Port Harcourt, can anyone guarantee that none of those who have had contact with the doctor will attend? It can only be better imagined the kind of danger that those who will attend the rally will be subjected to. Therefore, President Jonathan has a historic opportunity to put the well-being of his compatriots above politics, for once.”

The party reminded the President of the statement he made on August 8, when he declared the EVD in Nigeria a national emergency, thus: “Religious and political groups, spiritual healing centres, families, associations and other bodies should, in the meantime, discourage gatherings and activities that may unwittingly promote close contact with infected persons or place others at risk.”

It also reminded the President that his administration had postponed the resumption of private and public primary and secondary schools across the nation as part of the measures to curtail the spread of the virus.

APC wondered what message the same government was sending to Nigerians by allowing TAN rallies to continue.

It said: “Mr. President, add this to the fact that Nigeria’s economy is losing millions of dollars to the Ebola disease, and you will realise that the need to control the disease supersedes personal political considerations.”

The party said the TAN rallies in Awka (Anambra) and Ibadan (Oyo) and the forthcoming ones in Port Harcourt and elsewhere flout the advice by the President against large gatherings that could encourage the spread of the disease.

It described as untenable the argument that the rallies were not being organised by the government, hence the President has no control over them.

APC said: “Mr. President, you are the sole beneficiary of these rallies. Top officials of your administration, led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, have been attending the rallies. The signatures being collected by TAN are ostensibly to encourage you to run again. So, this is your show.”

The party wondered how Dr Jonathan could, on one hand, be complaining about the stigmatisation of Nigerians by other countries over the Ebola outbreak and, on the other hand, turning a blind eye when his supporters were flouting the Ebola control measures put in place by his administration.

It said: “The embassies of the foreign nations in Nigeria are seeing all that is happening. They are seeing how the efforts of the Federal Government to control Ebola are being sabotaged by the supporters of the President. How then can we complain when our citizens are stigmatised abroad? How can we complain when the foreign governments issue travel advisories to their citizens coming to Nigeria? How can we complain when they start barring Nigerians from coming to their countries on account of the Ebola virus?

“This is why we are calling on President Jonathan to call his supporters to order today. We are also calling on all well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the President not to endanger the lives of Nigerians simply because of his personal ambition.”

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