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Ebola: Obasanjo blasts Liberia, late Sawyer


A former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday chided Liberian officials who connived with the late Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, who brought the deadly Ebola Virus Disease to Nigeria.

He said this singular misadventure has started to take its toll on the manpower and the economy of not only Nigeria but the West Africa sub-region.

Obasanjo said this while answering questions from guests at an event organised by the publisher of Inside Watch Africa magazine, Mr. Oluwaseyi Adegoke-Adeyemo, at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta.

The programme was tagged ‘An afternoon with Obasanjo’.

He said, “It is devilish enough that Patrick Sawyer had to spread this, and indeed spread it to Nigeria in connivance with some authorities from his country. Because they knew he had it before he came to Nigeria.

“The EVD has started to take its toll on the country and the West African sub region. The toll is not only on the number of those that are ill or dead but on the economic of communities, country, region and sub-region.” [eap_ad_1] Obasanjo who said he had a meeting with the Ghanaian President, Mr. John Mahama, who’s also the chairman of the Economic Community of West African Countries, some weeks ago, said they discussed how to contain the spread of the deadly virus within the sub-region.

But he explained that while Mahama wanted the meeting of ministers of health meeting, he suggested that there was a limit the ministers could go and that a summit of the presidents in the sub-region would be better.

The former president who noted that EVD was not only a regional or sub-regional threat but a global one, called for a summit of where a national policy on the disease would be formulated.

Obasanjo also advocated the need to encourage the world pharmaceutical companies to carry on research on the virus and coming up with the needed vaccine to eliminate it.

He said, “Pharmaceutical companies in the country should be encourage to carry out research on the EVD and come up with vaccines to treat the deadly disease.

“Also, we have to be aggressive in taking precautionary measures. When you see your neighbour or someone who has unique symptoms not just of ordinary cold or fever, take him to the doctor, whether it is symptomatic of Ebola or ordinary malaria.

“We should not wait till some one has got incubated in it, just like Patrick Sawyer, who knew he had it and he deliberately spread it.”

He said he had spoken with the presidents of Liberia and Sierra Leone to “give them words of encouragement and support” on the scourge of Ebola in their countries.(Punch)


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