Ebola: Abia condoles family of Justina Echelonu, nurse who died from virus

Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji

The Abia State governor, Theodore Orji, on Thursday condoled the family  of the first nurse who  died from the Ebola Virus Disease.

Justina Echelonu, a staff of First Consultant Hospital, Obalende, Lagos State, died on August 6.

She was among those who treated the Liberian American, Patrick Sawyer, who imported the disease to Nigeria.

“My heart bleeds as I write this. On behalf of my family, the government and the good people of Abia State, I commiserate with family, friends and colleagues of our dear lady nurse, Justina Echelonu, who died following the contact she had with the Liberian American, Mr. Patrick Sawyer, in the course of discharging her duty as a nurse,” Mr. Orji said in a statement by his special assistant on e-media, Obed Nnaji.

He prayed that God would comfort Ms. Echelonu’s family and grant them the fortitude to bear the loss.

Nigeria has recorded 11 cases of the deadly Ebola disease, of which four have died. 169 people are currently under surveillance.


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  • Aninweze Oscar Colman

    in God we trust oooo

  • Rotimi Lawanson

    What utter nonsense. This is the problem I have with some of our journalists. How can you expect her to join issues with this clown? He has all her numbers and knows where she is and then waits in an opportunistic manner for two weeks to the elections to start talking. He claims he feels Nigerians pain but didn’t feel the pain until two weeks to the election. This Soludo thinks we are all fools. He thinks he can position himself as the Solution. He is not any Solution but a Major Problem because his outsized ego will not allow him think straight.

  • Port

    Dear Steve
    Good write up. One of the things that has baffled me has been the lack of private sector capacity to check Government statistics. Soludo’s write ups have given us a “peak” into something that may be very serious. Not only may we be “not as strong as we think we are (borrowing your phrase) we may be going down.

    In the Western World, Shadow economists double check Government facts. In the past, Awolowo had a system to do same. Today we take everything they say hook line and sinker.

    For instance, close study of Nigeria’s recent GDP shows many serious questions. Oil sector accounts for $ 75 bn, while Agric accounts for $ 120 Bn (ten times the size of Agric in Israel or in South Africa) yet food imports is at an all time high. Much emphasis is placed on the so called “informal sector.”

    It is clearly difficult to Rig the stats from the oil and gas sector because there are too many checks internationally and locally; but it is very easy to rig the items within our control eg manufacturing(they said most of the manufacturing is by informal producers, but those of us in the industry know many factories are not working), Nollywood, etc etc.

    I have found only one publication of the analysis of the GDP in any Nigerian media outlet. Instead, what I have seen is copy and paste job where the exact words of the NBS are repeated about capturing new sectors in the economy bla bla; It is like standard text.

    How did we become so mentally lazy? Or perhaps its lack of resources for independent investigative work.

    Former CBN Governor Charles Soludo accused NOI of encouraging the World bank to doctor statistics. This was a position initially resisted by Oby Ezekwesili while at the world bank. I was privy to the the fact that Oby and Ngozi had constant battles at the Bank.
    After Oby left it was easier to carry on the plan. Special methodologies were used to “reduce” unemployment in Nigeria and change the methodologies for the calculation of GDP etc. The aim was to enable more borrowing, and more tax. The spin off was the seeming success of the new $ 500 bn economy.
    Did you notice that almost immediately after the new GDP, Nigeria began to receive loans. The AfDB was the first lender (within a week of the new GDP). Interestingly the AfDB was a partner in the economic rebasing excercise. A check through AfDB shareholders will be very telling. Since then, its been one loan after the other from the World Bank and other lenders.
    Did you also notice that since the rebasing, taxes at Ports, and other points have been driven up seriously?

    With Soludo’s revelations lately, one area that is being quickly overlooked is this issue of statistical manipulation.
    This is one area that might be the reason for NOI backing off on the “fight” with Soludo, because the fallout will go far beyond Nigeria. It will be a scandal in the World Bank, much like the FIFA scandals of recent times.

    But we feel it is necessary to expose this issues for two reasons mainly
    1- Such exposure will once for all keep the hands of the World Bank et all off Nigeria. Their poliicies and programs and ‘cooperation” has been a fundamental part of most of our troubles as a nation.
    2- Such exposure will help the new Government because at the moment Nigerians think we have a $ 540 billion economy. In actuality, we have perhaps a $ 200- 250 bn economy. Any New Government will be tasked with building a bigger economy than the current false figures. This will lead to a perception of failure, or will encourage more falsehood to create seeming success. For Nigeria to truly change, new Governments need to be delivered of this burden of false success, they need to start from scratc and rebuild a truly growing success.

    Economic success does not come from falsification of numbers; if South Korea, Canada, Spain, Italy, etc- nations with 30 – 50 million people- can build trillion dollar economies, then the truth is that Nigeria too can succeed if it builds its people.

    Lastly, until we get the stats right, development will always be unattainable because planning will be in effective.
    I perceive that as Nigerians, we have always craved for greatness, thus no one really wants to burst the bubble. Be it truth or lie, we enjoy the tag of “Africa’s biggest economy.”

    The down side is that anything built on a lie eventually bursts and fails.

    Already, the international business community in their circles are saying the Nigerian figures do not add up! That’s why the new GDP did not really translate into investment surge last year!

    The one way we can rescue things quickly is when we can say to the world ” hey, we have cleaned things out, You can now trust us.”

    Like South Korea, we could build a trillion dollar economy if we do it right.

    I hope key persons like yourself can assist with Championing the issue of exposing this collusion with the World Bank. and help our nation towards correcting these wrongs.

    • Orphic

      Absolutely agree with your comments. Nigeria reminds me of a school boy in class 1 who submits his report card to his father with all A grades. After a few years of this, the father ponders the conundrum of how his son still remains in class1 despite the A grades. Either time has stood still or the boy’s grades are fraudulent.
      Thus the stats from Madam and the agricultural minister, who claims that Nigeria is self sufficient despite importing food can be viewed in a similar light.