Ebola: Jonathan decries stigma against Nigerians as UN hails FG

By IAfrica
In Nigeria
Aug 28th, 2014

GEJ 2President Goodluck Jonathan has condemned the discrimination against Nigerians by some countries over recent cases of Ebola virus in the country.

Jonathan made this known at a meeting with Dr David Navarro, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Ebola, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He decried discriminatory actions by some countries against Nigeria, including the incident which forced Nigeria’s team to the Youth Olympics in China to abandon its participation.

Jonathan said that there was no justification for such stigmatisation of Nigerians since the Ebola Virus had been effectively contained in the country and never got to an epidemic level.

He said that every discriminatory action against Nigerians around the world over the virus must be stopped henceforth, urging the UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, to support the call.

Acknowledging the Secretary-General’s commendation of Nigeria’s response to the Ebola outbreak, the president attributed it to the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Health, Lagos State Government and citizens.

“All hands have been on deck to contain the virus here. I commend my team and the Lagos State Government,” he said.

“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.”

Jonathan assured Navarro that despite the seeming success of its containment measures, the Nigerian Government and its agencies would remain vigilant to guard against further cases of Ebola in the country.

He said, “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.”

Earlier, Navarro said he was visiting Nigerian on the instruction of Mr. Ki-Moon.

He said he had been to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, which are worst hit by the EVD before coming to the country.

The envoy praised 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,” he said.

“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.”

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