By Lawrence Olaoye
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday explained that closing schools and other government institutions in the country for the fear of the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) would send a negative signal to the international community.
The President, while answering question on the position of the government on the threat by the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) also declared that the nation is free of the diseases even though some people are still under close observation.
According to him, shitting down schools and other government institutions for the fear of the spread of Ebola would only encourage stigmatization against Nigerians in foreign lands.
He said “If you are in Nigerian today and you travel to some countries they don’t even want you to enter the countries. Our athletes were segregated in China. They had to return to the country. A place like China asked Ministers of the Federal Republic to show prove of Ebola free certificate! Very discouraging. And what people don’t know is that as long as you close your institutions because of Ebola, the Ambassadors that are here with us and the High Commissioners send what you call dispatches to their home states about what is happening in our country monthly.
“As long as we Nigerians close all our public institutions because of Ebola, the dispatch that goes to the whole world is that Ebola is a problem in Nigeria. And as long as we declare that Ebola is a problem in Nigeria, any Nigerian that travels out will be treated as someone that has Enola. We have been able to manage Ebola and the whole world is happy with us and we must tell the whole world that we have managed Enola and no Nigerian should segregated because of Ebola,” he stressed.
The President also thanked the state governors, particularly those of Lagos and Rivers, for cooperating with the federal government to attack and eradicate the disease in the country.