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Sawyer Flew To Nigeria With Ebola Against His Country’s Directive -Jonathan

By Olusegun Emmanuel, Abuja.

President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday expressed disappointment over the way and manner the late Liberia national, Patrick Sawyer, imported the Ebola virus disease into Nigeria, saying he flew in against the directive of him home country which placed him under surveillance.

Sawyer, was said to have also failed to disclose his Ebola virus health status to hospital officials in Lagos despite his knowledge but instead suggested that he had malaria.

Jonathan described the actions of the late Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, who brought the Ebola virus to Nigeria, as pure “madness” and “craziness.”

He however assured that his government would do everything possible to contain the spread of the disease in Nigeria.

The President said that his discussion with the head of the World Health Organisation has given him more information about the virus and assured the gathering that the virus will be stopped from causing more harm.

“My conversation with the WHO DG, Dr. Margaret Chan, was revealing,” he said.

“She said 60 per cent of the transmission was spread during burials. That is why in my announcement, I have been saying that people should be careful about burials.

“Some people like burial ceremonies. This is not the time for burial ceremony. Somebody is dead, he is dead, leave him there. This is not the best time for those ceremonies.

“If he is dead, he is already dead, Sawyer that brought this Ebola to Nigeria; his sister died of Ebola. And he started acting somehow. His country asked him not to leave the country. Let them observe him, but the crazy man decided to leave and found his way here.”

Jonathan also said that those predicting and prophesying doom for the country on the basis of the 2015 general elections would be disappointed.

Jonathan stated this at an interfaith conference organised by the Interfaith Initiative for Peace, with the theme: “The Imperative of Interfaith Understanding and Cooperation for Responsible Politics.”

He renewed his promise to Nigerians and the international community that the country would be stronger and more united after the elections.

He said: “I once again assure Nigerians and the international community that the 2015 elections will come and go and Nigeria will stand stronger.

“The Nigerians I know and interact with everyday are only asking for one thing in the elections: transparency, free and fair elections and I have promised them.

“They want to vote and they want their votes to count. They don’t want to be molested. They don’t want ballot boxes to be hijacked by criminals,” Jonathan said.

Adding: “If they are convinced that the process is free, fair and credible, they have no reason to be angry. Nobody can fight against one man, one vote, one woman one vote, one youth one vote.

“And government will make sure that Nigerians are not killed during and after elections,” the President assured.

Jonathan chided some members of the opposition and including labour leaders who were opposed to the deployment of heavy security personnel to protect lives and property during elections.

He reminded them of the killings and destruction that greeted the 2011 elections, including the killing of 10 youth corps members in Bauchi State, and vowed never to let it happen again.

The President also emphasised that the governorship elections held in the country in the last four years attested to his commitment to free and fair polls in the country.

According to him, the defeat of the Peoples Democratic Party in some of the polls shows that he is not using state security apparatus to manipulate elections in favour of his party as alleged by the opposition.

He said: “My promise of free and fair election is clear. All governorship elections that have been conducted so far, you can agree with me that they have been free and fair.

“I am from the PDP, the ruling party, but I don’t use that strength to make sure that PDP must win by all means.

“PDP has lost elections in Edo State, we lost in Anambra State, we lost election in Ondo state, of course only two days back, we lost in Osun. But we know and we are saying that this country must change.

“The kind of election we had in the 1960s that led to the crisis in the West that threatened the sovereignty of this country, cannot come up again.

“The kind of elections we had during the Second Republic where some people won elections as governors and ran away from their states cannot come up again.

“Nigerians must vote and our votes must count.

“If I was interested in manipulating elections, my party would not be losing all these governorship elections. All what we want is credible elections.”

Jonathan also stated that Nigeria’s relevance at the world stage was as a result of its diversity and not because of crude oil.

According to him, Nigeria is being celebrated as a great nation by other African leaders, and is the hope of the black man because of the 1914 amalgamation of the southern and northern protectorates.

Sawyer was the one who brought the Ebola Virus Disease into Nigeria.

So far, two persons, including Sawyer, have died of the virus, while 10 others are infected.

Jonathan, who expressed his disappointment with the way and manner Sawyer brought Ebola to Nigeria, assured citizens that government was ready to stop Ebola.

“As a government, we promise that we will do everything humanly possible to contain the Ebola virus,” he said.

Jonathan informed the gathering that the federal government planned to rally the 36 states governors and their Commissioners of Health to rescue the nation from further spread of the disease.

He said: “On Wednesday, I will meet with governor of the states and they must come with their commissioners of Health along. We must make sure that every state is prepared, where they lack, the Federal Government will support them.”



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