Ebola: Animal hunters seek Onyebuchi’s sack
The National Association of Animal Hunters has called for the immediate sack of Nigeria’s minister of Health, Dr Onyebuchi Chukwu, over the public notices and expert opinion issued by his ministry that Nigerians should avoid eating certain types of bush animals.
The association said such information was not only misleading but wicked and worthy of punitive action against the perpetrators, adding that it has led Nigerians to “unnecessary panic, denied Nigerians of access to nutritious, God-given bush meat” and that it was a threat to the livelihood of animal hunters.
While challenging the ministry to back its claim of the presence of Ebola in animals since the outbreak of the virus in Nigeria three weeks ago, the association in a statement signed by its President, Comrade Ray Macaulay, wondered “how Ebola virus could jump from Patrick Sawyer and those who had direct contact with him at the Lagos hospital and the aircraft by which he came, into Nigerian wild animals within a space of three weeks”.
They continued, “If an animal connection is to be considered, the most reasonable and scientific would be only the domestic animals that inhabit environments where human waste are deposited. Yet, no mention is made of these more environmentally–vulnerable animal as possible carriers in the ministerial information and notices and no pressman has asked any question about these obvious facts, scientific facts.
“We demand that the ministry tell us if indeed there had been confirmed or unconfirmed incidents or outbreaks of Ebola virus in Nigeria before now, so that we can believe him and his officials.
“Otherwise, the ministry needs to explain to Nigerians how the incident of the single strike of Ebola in Lagos could have become ZOONOTIC overnight.
“If not, we demand that Dr Onyebuchi Chukwu be relieved of his appointment as the minister of Health of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for deliberately mishandling the information on the Ebola incident in Lagos”, the statement read.
They stressed that their demand was predicated on Onyebuchi’s disposition, which they noted caused Nigerians to unnecessarily panic and at the same time threatened the livelihood of the over five million Nigerians who depend on bush meat, including those who trade on it.
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