ECOWAS to hold emergency meeting on Ebola

President John Mahama
President John Mahama

The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, will in November hold an emergency meeting on collaborative measures to contain the spread of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease.

This was disclosed by the Ghanaian President, John Mahama, to journalists at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Mr. Mahama held a closed door meeting with Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan. He said the ECOWAS meeting would update member states on Ebola.

At least 4,555 people have reportedly died from the disease in West Africa.

Nigeria, which managed to contain an outbreak caused by a Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, who brought the disease to the country, may be declared Ebola-free by WHO on October 20.

Meanwhile, three other West- African countries, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, are still battling the disease alongside Spain, United States of America and the Netherlands.

“It is important for (ECOWAS) to assist the African countries to contain the outbreak so that we do not have a situation where it spreads throughout the sub-region,” Mr. Mahama said.

The Ghanaian president commended Mr. Jonathan for how Nigeria managed the outbreak.

“Indeed, the Nigerian experience has become a model for the rest of the world and Nigeria is assisting other countries in terms of their Ebola preparedness and how to handle such outbreaks,” he said.

On the issues discussed in his meeting with Mr. Jonathan, Mr. Mahama said:
“As you are aware, we are members of the West Africa Gas Pipeline and we discussed the issues of raising the volumes of gas supply so that we can boost power supplies not only in Ghana, but in Togo and Benin that are also beneficiaries of this pipelines.”

He said they also discussed issues of security, especially in relation to the Boko Haram crisis.

“We are optimistically hopeful that Nigeria will continue to be able to deal with the issue of Boko Haram,” he said.

“We believe that the people should stand in solidarity with the government. You must be one in dealing with this threat to your national survival. And for us in West Africa, we believe that the destabilisation of Nigeria is destabilisation of the whole of the West African sub-region.

“It is not only because of the size of Nigeria, but it is the largest economy in the whole of the sub-region and indeed the whole of Africa. We will continue to express solidarity with Nigeria in your fight against this insurgency.”

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