President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, described the late American-Liberian, Patrick Sawyer’s visit that heralded the entry of the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, into the country, as “pure madness.”
The President, who spoke publicly for the first time since the outbreak of the disease in the country, expressed disappointment with the way and manner the late Sawyer brought Ebola to Nigeria.
The man was said to have being under surveillance in Liberia for a suspected case of the Ebola Virus Disease, but evaded authorities in Monrovia and boarded a plane for Lagos in Nigeria, via Lome in Togo and Accra in Ghana.
His intention, according to reports was to connect to Calabar in Nigeria to attend a two-day retreat organized by the ECOWAS Commission, and later the same week to Atlanta, Georgia in the USA to celebrate his daughter’s birthday.
Speaking at the Annual Interfaith Conference in Abuja, President Jonathan, however, assured citizens that the Federal Government was ready to stop the spread of the Ebola virus.
“It is unfortunate that one mad man brought Ebola to us, but we have to contain it. As a government, we promise that we will do everything humanly possible to contain the Ebola virus,” said Jonathan.
He also hinted that the Federal Government had planned to rally the 36 state governors and their health commissioners to rescue the nation from further spread of the disease.
“On Wednesday, I will meet with governors of the states, and they must come with their commissioners for health. We must make sure that every state is prepared. Where they lack, the Federal Government will support them.”
He assured that his discussion with the head of the World Health Organisation, WHO, had given him more information about the virus, assuring the gathering that the virus will be stopped from causing more harm.
“My conversation with the WHO D-G, Dr Margaret Chan was revealing. She said 60 per cent of the transmission was spread during burials. That is why in my announcement; I’ve 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.”