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

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech 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.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs