The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, on Saturday urged the Federal Government to offer as much support as possible to West African countries ravaged by the dreaded Ebola virus to save the sub-region.
The Vice-President of the Congress, Issa Aremu, said in Lagos that Nigeria could not be said to be free from Ebola if citizens in neighbouring countries were still being ravaged by the disease.
Urging Nigeria to see the fight against Ebola in other countries as the struggle for independence of fellow African nations during the colonial period, Mr. Aremu said the philosophy of African forefathers was that the independence of their countries was not sustainable until other African nations got theirs.
The devastation caused by Ebola to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, Mr. Aremu said, is endangering Nigeria.
According to the Labour leader, the government’s support to the Ebola-ravaged countries would not only confirm Nigeria’s sense of solidarity and commitment, but also affirm the country’s status as giant of Africa.
“If Cuba could send the highest number of medical contingent to Sierra Leone, then Nigeria could do more being the biggest black nation in the world,” Mr. Aremu noted.
“Nigeria cannot be said to be free and safe if the virus continued to ravage her sister nations. We want the country to use all the resources it used to curtail the spread of Ebola in the country to help eliminate the scourge in Liberia and other neighbouring countries,” he added.
He said Nigeria cannot say she was whole when her sister countries were unsafe, as a result of the threat by the Ebola virus, adding that “an injury to one is an injury to all of us” in the sub-region.
He expressed delight with report by the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala that Nigeria was already putting some finances to support the affected countries overcome their travails.
Noting that both money and human resources were needed to stop the spread of the dreaded disease in the affected countries, Mr. Aremu pointed out that the key issues that helped Nigeria overcome were the mobilisation of medical personnel and strong medical prescriptions.
He said Nigeria must ensure that it did the same for the affected neighbouring countries.
He lamented that if Nigeria were more proactive earlier, she could have helped Liberia to overcome.
The World Health Organisation, WHO, had on October 20 declared Nigeria Ebola-free.
According to global health body “the death toll from the Ebola epidemic rose to 4,922 out of 10,141 known cases in eight countries through October 23.
The three worst-hit countries of West Africa– Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone– account for the bulk of the world’s worst Ebola outbreak, recording 4,912 deaths out of 10,114 cases, WHO said.