News / Africa

Nigeria President Unhappy with Ebola Stigmatization

FILE - Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit at the State Department in Washington, Aug. 6, 2014.
FILE - Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit at the State Department in Washington, Aug. 6, 2014.
Peter Clottey

Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan Wednesday condemned the stigmatization of Nigerians travelling abroad, due to the recent outbreak of Ebola in the country.

In a meeting with David Nabarro, Special Envoy of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, Jonathan said there was no justification for such stigmatization, since his administration has made significant efforts to contain the disease. He specifically expressed concern about actions at the Youth Olympics in China.

“President Jonathan pointed out that it is unfortunate that there have been attempts by some countries to stigmatize Nigerians when they travel abroad,” said presidentials spokesman Reuben Abati. “When our youth team went for sporting competition in China, they were prevented from taking part in that event and they had to return home and the Nigerian government felt very bad about it and President Jonathan drew attention to what happened in China.”

Four countries in West Africa including Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria are battling the Ebola disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the total number of probable and confirmed cases in the current outbreak of Ebola virus disease is 3,069, with 1,552 deaths. The WHO also said the disease could affect about 20,000 people before the crisis is over.

Abati said the government has been successful in preventing the Ebola outbreak from becoming an epidemic.

“The commendation by the United Nations, clearly shows that Nigeria has done very well in controlling and containing the spread of the virus after the index case that occurred here,” said Abati.                                        

Local media quoted Nabarro as praising Nigeria’s effort to contain the outbreak.

“The secretary-general asked me to come here too, not because you have an Ebola problem, but because you have tackled it in an exemplary fashion… Your personal leadership on the matter has been key," he said. "There may still be some work to be done before the virus is completely cleared out from here, but other countries can learn from your fine example.”

Abati said Jonathan assured the special U.N. envoy that his administration will continue with efforts to eradicate Ebola.

He said the government in Abuja will soon contact countries that are alleged to have attempted to stigmatize citizens to resolve any concerns.

“I believe that the statement by President Jonathan would be the first step in drawing international attention to the attempts by some countries to stigmatize citizens of other countries,” said Abati.

“We do not expect that, with the level of information that is available on the Nigerian situation, other countries would go out of their way to stigmatize Nigerians. Because effectively in Nigeria, the government has been able to control and contain the spread of the virus,” he said.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Chuzymatics from: Nigeria
August 29, 2014 6:59 AM
A friend in need is a friend indeed. Events have shown that China is only interested in Africa's resources and abandons her when tragedy strikes. We did not stigmatize them when they had SARS

by: bob from: Chad
August 29, 2014 3:47 AM
Ridiculous. This is not an "us" versus "them" issue and it is not about who you are (liberian, Nigerian, Congolese). This is about a very serious virus that everyone should be concerned about and measures need to be taken to stop the spread. DO NOT turn this into some sort of race issue or stigmatization. That is backward thinking and does not resolve the real issue
In Response

by: bob from: chad
August 30, 2014 10:20 AM
In response to Chidi. First of all I am not sure what you are really trying to say. Your president is avoiding the issue and throwing blame at others. The problem here is the virus. Deal with the Virus. So far it is not contained. It has spread to Port Harcourt and it has spread to Senegal. Would you call that "contained?" I would not! Therefore, each country in the world should be concerned. This is not about discrimination or stigmatization. This is about isolating the problem and destroying it or curing it. The borders in Africa and in many other areas of the world are porous. A simple bribe here or there or a paddle across the lake gets you in or out of a country. WHO, and others are trying to help the affected countries but you cannot allow everyone to wonder all over the place if there is a possibility of contamination and a spread of that contamination. It does not make sense. Again this is a reality check.. This is like the black plague many years ago.. IF NOT CONTAINED it will kill many more. Is that what you or any one else wants? I don't think so
In Response

by: Chidi Desmond from: Abuja
August 29, 2014 7:16 AM
Mr Bob some one like you that came from a small country Chad that any thing can befall on your country tomorrow and you will need the help from other countries is the one that comes up here to say that what my President is saying about isolation is not true,and you are encourage isolation,it is not every body in Nigeria that has Ebola,at of 170 million people we are just having 5 deaths so far,is this enough to isolate the remaing 160 some thing million other people from traveling?

We know that with adequate preventive measures that Ebola doesn't spread like that,you could have advised your Government for proper sanitation of your borders and airports,other well and important countries has not even restricted people from traveling to there country and not to talk much more about your countries,westerns and Americans that are not our brothers are looking for ways to help,and you that it is your brothers that are affected,Africans,and you have the wicked mind to say this,i am highly disappointed in you.

by: Edith from: Ireland
August 28, 2014 9:30 PM
Cleaning, hygiene, safety regulations, disinfectant and decontamination is the key to any virus and decease clearance. Mr president, contact Edicharward, we always have our card placed on the table, meaning we are very transparent.
In Response

by: Ola from: Lagos
August 29, 2014 9:29 AM
Thank you Edith but it might interest you that You just stated what a primary school pupil (child) from anywhere in Nigeria would educate anyone about viruses and diseases. The news is all about stigmatization and its clear that Nigeria should not be stigmatized. The world should start accepting us coefficient of Africa in sustainability of science and economic survival in the ecosystem. Love Nigerians, embrace Africa, we love you too. Mwah!! Take it!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs