The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked President Goodluck Jonathan and his party, the PDP, to stop taking credit for the country’s successful containment of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), saying it amounts to sheer dishonesty for the duo to turn what was a collective effort to a PDP campaign issue.
In a statement issued in London on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said President Jonathan and his party were wrong to have appropriated the credit for the successful containment of the EVD without giving due credit to the real heroes of the successful battle: Dr. Stella Adadevoh and her colleagues at the First Consultant Hospital; officials of the Ministries of Health in Lagos and Rivers States and the patriotic Nigerian volunteers, among others.
It described as a cheap shot and a shameless venture the President’s decision to make the Ebola success story a campaign issue during a PDP rally in Benin, giving the impression that only the PDP deserves the credit for the successful containment of the disease.
APC said while indeed Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu exhibited the kind of professionalism and purposefulness that are not common with the Jonathan administration during the battle against Ebola, it will be uncharitable for the PDP-led Federal Government to pretend as if the government of the two affected states did nothing.
The party reminded President Jonathan that the two states hit by Ebola, Lagos and Rivers are APC states, and that the promptness, purposefulness, doggedness and determination shown by the Governors of the states contributed largely to the successful containment of the virulent disease.
‘’The cities of Lagos and Port Harcourt are perhaps the largest metropolis to have ever been hit by the EVD since the first outbreak was recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo almost 40 years ago, and any mishandling of the disease could have spelt disaster not just for the cities but for the country as a whole.
‘’But the ever-dogged and determined Governors Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State and Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers States employed the same winning strategies that have stood their states out of the pack and quickly rose to the occasion, putting in place measures that ensured a quick curtailing of the EVD spread. The measures include painstaking contact-tracing, unrelenting follow-up and creative treatment of infected patients even without access to the experimental drug Zmapp.
‘’There is no doubt that Nigeria is fortunate that the EVD outbreaks were recorded in those two states. It is a measure of the high premium that the Chief Executives of the states place on human life, a testimony to the strong health systems they are building and an indication of their purposeful approach to governance that they successfully contained the disease, thus earning Nigeria a rare accolade from the global community.
‘’Unlike the President and the PDP, we will also like to give credit to the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, for acting out of character with the do-nothing Jonathan administration. We hope President Jonathan and his party will stop making the Ebola success story in which opposition states were the main actors a fulcrum of their campaign for the 2015 general elections. They cannot and should not take credit for the containment of Ebola in Nigeria,’’ APC said.
The party also advised President Jonathan not to use the Ebola containment effort as another tool to divide Nigerians along party lines.
‘’President Jonathan is the most divisive President in Nigeria’s history. He inherited a united Nigeria, but has divided the country along ethnic and religious lines on the altar of selfish personal ambition and short-term opportunism. It will amount to a monumental tragedy if the President will again use the Ebola success story, which has earned Nigeria a rare acclamation from the global community, as a tool to further divide Nigerians,’’ it said.