Lagos - The All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately end campaigns for his re-election in next year's polls arguing the campaigns were compromising efforts to control the spread of Ebola.
It is reported the so-called Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) are holding rallies for his re-election.
''Mr President, you said your ambition is not worth the life of any Nigerian. But the TAN rallies for your re-election are endangering the lives of thousands of Nigerians in these days of Ebola. Some things must simply transcend politics. This is one of them. Please stop the rallies now,'' the opposition party said in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
It said the President must in particular ensure that the rally slated for Port Harcourt on Saturday was stopped, in view of the spread of the Ebola virus to the Rivers capital and the fact that 100 people had been placed under surveillance there following the death of a medical doctor from a suspected Ebola disease in the city.
''If TAN goes ahead to organize its rally in Port Harcourt, can anyone guarantee that none of those who have had contact with the medical doctor will attend? It can only be better imagined the kind of danger that those who will attend the rally will be subjected to. Therefore, President Jonathan has a historic opportunity to put the well being of his compatriots above politics, for once,'' APC said.
The party reminded President Jonathan of the statement he made on August 8 while declaring the Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria a national emergency.
He is quoted as saying, "Religious and political groups, spiritual healing centres, families, associations and other bodies should, in the meantime, discourage gatherings and activities that may unwittingly promote close contact with infected persons or place others at risk."
The party also reminded the President that his administration has postponed the resumption of private and public primary and secondary schools across the nation as part of the measures to curtail the spread of the virus, wondering what message the same government was sending to Nigerians by allowing TAN rallies to continue.
''Mr President, add this to the fact that Nigeria's economy is losing millions of dollars to the Ebola disease, and you will realize that the need to control the disease supersedes personal political considerations,'' APC stated.
The party said the TAN rallies in Awka and Ibadan, and the forthcoming ones in Port Harcourt and elsewhere thus flouted the advice by the President against large gatherings that can encourage the spread of the disease.
It described as untenable the argument that the rallies were not being organised by the government, hence the President had no control over them.
''Mr President, you are the sole beneficiary of these rallies. Top officials of your administration, led by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, have been attending the rallies. The signatures being collected by TAN are ostensibly to encourage you to run again. So this is your show,'' APC said.
Comment was not readily available from the Presidency or the ruling People's Democratic Party.
- CAJ News