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Liberia's apology for bring Ebola to Nigeria is not enough

17 August 2014, 09:48 Yusuf Suleiman

Nigeria over the years has been playing a big brother role to many African countries especially in the west, South African sub-regions. The fact is Nigeria expended bllions of dollars on emancipating many African countries against oppressions-Zimbabwe, South Africa Namibia, Liberia Serra Leon and lots others.

But the challenges Nigeria faces with countries it helped never reciprocate  the gesture by helping  Nigeria to grow, what Nigeria get in return is betrayal  in a passion of biting the finger that feed them.  In recent time we heard about Nigerians been molested in Ghana, South Africa and the derogatory statement against Nigeria by Robert Mugabe and these are countries Nigeria used its resources and influence  to rescue from wars and apartheid regimes

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The Ebola outbreak in Nigeria is the case on point where behaviour of a Liberian citizen, Patrick Sawyer and his accomplices made Nigeria to bear consequences that can bring it to its knees. As disturbing as it has been, all available information has suggested a conspiracy between Liberian government officials and Mr Parick Sawyer who brought the virus into Nigeria, because it was confirmed that Liberian Government was aware that Patrick Sawyer, had possibly contracted the virus from his late sister, yet cleared him to travel to Nigeria for a conference organised by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) without notifying the Nigerian Government.

Also read: Ebola: Is it fear or ignorance

Premium Times of August 12, 2014 reported  Mr. Sawyer’s  employers, ArcelorMittal, an iron mining company, suspended him from work and isolated him after it became aware that he had contact with his sister who died of the virus on July 8 and was also under watch by the Liberian authorities.  The paper also reported the CCTV footage from the Monrovia Airport capturing Mr. Sawyer sitting alone and avoiding bodily contacts with other passengers who came close to him at the boarding gate of the Monrovia airport while waiting his flight to Lagos. It also clear that Liberian government approved Sawyer's trip despite been under observation for Ebola but choose to lied as it was said he sneaked out of the country without their knowledge. while investigation. The prevailing discrepancies had indicted Liberian Government. Perhaps Liberian Government deliberately allow that flaws in its attempt to  get the attention of international community to the  plights of Its citizens who before  20th July incidence, are dying and the country for months with little assistance from the world giants.

Moreover, it is not gainsaying Nigeria Is an influential figure world affairs and taking this dangerous game to Nigeria by Patrick sawyer with help of some officials in Liberia will surely call for world to have a rethink on the handling of Ebola epidemic generally. Therefore, Liberia might have took this dangerous trend and criminality to gain support. However, what might have been their mission against Nigeria, Liberia need to know that they have committed  what I can describes as Medical Terrorism.  This thought is reenforce by  Mrs Sawyer's comment in depence of her late husband where she revealed that Sawyer had not confidence of Liberian health care system due neglect by authorities. sawyer is always looking for the day the Liberian health care system can be reformed. thus Ebola epidemic serve as best avenue for him to realise his dream.

Patrick Sawyer's recklessness  on Nigeria has brought to the fore the vulnerability of countries to Ebola virus, which before july 20th, it claimed over 774 lives in  Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea and now over 1000 death. He also  brought to the notice of world leaders that it take only one infected person of Ebola virus to travel by air to your country and spread the disease. So, everybody is at risk. These are some of positive lessons learnt on the incidence.

Also read: Ebola: Wife explains Sawyer's mission in Nigeria 

As at now, Nigeria suffered two death - two nurses, Assistant protocol officer of ECOWAS, Mr Jatto Abdulqudir and Eight other cases including Doctor who treated Mr Sawyer are now under treatment. Well at least a total of 198 were under observation according to federal Government.  To suppress spread of Ebola, the Federal Government  declared a state of emergency against the disease alerting all state governments and relevant agencies on taking precautionary measures in ensuring the disease is been nip in the bud. There is unity of purpose among levels of government, President Goodluck Jonathan has summoned all state governors irrespective of party affiliations  to a meeting on Ebola, protective equipment and kits are been provided for the health workers and  International  community  become more responsive and swiftly went into action by first, lending support both financial, personnel and moral to the countries ravaged by the disease and secondly World Bank supported  the countries with over 200 million dollars and the renew campaign by World Health Organisation(WHO) for Global Public Health Emergency be declared in order to contain it from further damage.  The provision and approval of  the use of an US made experimental Ebola drug, Zmapp, for treatment of patients infected with the virus. It is on record that for the first time in history, drug under  clinical trial is been certified by WHO for mass treatment of a disease and US government has to succumb  to pressure and made the drug available, on similar passion Canada volunteered to supply another Ebola vaccine, VSV-EBOV developed at Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba was an indication of positives that came out of this incidence, a development that would hasten the process of getting certified Ebola cure in few months to come.

At this point, I must commend the Nigeria authorities for their swift action against the spread of Ebola Virus, so far Nigeria recorded only ten cases with three death and I m optimistic, the disease are on the verge of been contained. If only we can render same commitment and work assiduously as we doing in the Ebola saga Nigeria would have been a better by now. We should also learn to prepare for emergencies as means of proactive measure and stop that nonchalant attitudes on issues around us and close rank on national issue and take precautionary measures at all time.

However,  the criminal act and complicity of Liberian officials should not be left unpunished. The Nigerian government should should sanction Liberia. If need be, President Goodluck Jonathan should as matter of National security recall Nigerian ambassador and suspend all diplomatic ties with Liberia in order to them compel them bring all its official who directly or indirectly aided the cause of Sawyer to justice for criminal negligence and complicity. There is also need for Liberian government to compensate Nigeria for lives and economic loss as result of this incidence. The First medical Consultant, Lagos and its staff most also be compensated including all people who were infected by Patrick Sawyer in their course to render help to save his life so as to serve as deterrent to others.

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