Jonathan rejects discrimination against Nigerians over Ebola

President Goodluck Jonathan has condemned the stigmatization of Nigerians by some countries over the recent cases of the Ebola Virus Disease, EVD.

At a meeting with a Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General, David Navarro, on Wednesday, the president criticised the discriminatory actions, especially the one that forced the Nigerian team to the Youth Olympics in China to withdraw its participation in the games.

Mr. Jonathan said there was no basis for the stigmatization of Nigerians since the EVD had been effectively contained in the country. He added that the disease never attained epidemic levels.

The president demanded an end to the discrimination against Nigerians over the virus and asked the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, to act on the demand.

He praised the Federal Ministry of Health, the Lagos State Government and all Nigerians for the success achieved so far in containing the virus and avoiding a national epidemic.

“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.”

Mr. Jonathan assured Mr. 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, Mr. 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,” Mr. Navarro 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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