Abuja (NAN) –
President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday condemned the stigmatisation of Nigerians by some countries over recent cases of Ebola virus in the country. Jonathan made this known at a meeting with David Navarro, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Ebola, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. This is contained in a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati.
The president, according to the statement, 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. He said that there was no justification for such stigmatisation of Nigerians since the Ebola Virus had been effectively contained in the country and never attained epidemic level.
He called for the immediate cessation of every discriminatory action against Nigerians around the world over the virus and urged the UN Secretary General, 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. “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,’’ he said.
He assured the UN that 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. “This is 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 said.
Earlier, Navarro who had visited Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, before coming to Nigeria said he was in Nigeria 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,’’ he said.