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

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs