President of Liberia, Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson has said that the Ebola victim, Patrick Sawyer, was on surveillance, but he sneaked out of Liberia and came to Lagos, where he died 24 hours later.
The Liberian President expressed concern over the unfortunate incident and apologized to Nigeria on behalf of her countryman who brought the virus to the country.
According to the Minister of State on Foreign Affairs, Mr. Nurudeem Mohammed, Sirleaf-Johnson told the Federal Government that Sawyer was on surveillance when he sneaked out of Liberia through Asky Airline.
Mohammed told journalists in Abuja on Thursday that Sirleaf-Johnson had apologised to Nigeria over Sawyer’s visit to Nigeria.
The Liberian Ambassador to Nigeria, Prof. AL- Hassan Conteh who participated in the briefing of the International Community on Ebola, pleaded with the FG to stop the embarrassment and stigma Sawyer’s action had caused Liberians living in Nigeria.
Conteh said since the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria, media and Port workers have discriminated and harassed Liberians, and he called on the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, to help save the situation.
He said, “The fact that the person who brought the disease was from Liberia does not mean all Liberians were positive of Ebola Virus Disease.
“The Liberian President had put measures in place by declaring 90 days emergency in the country beginning from August 6 to strategize on how to stop the spread of the disease to other countries.”
Meanwhile, Chuwku has asked the International Community to take up the Ebola challenge as a global issue rather than a regional matter, adding that Ebola has high mortality rate over other diseases and therefore, cannot be neglected by other countries in the world.
Chukwu who announced the deteriorating state of other health workers who had contracted Ebola, urged the international community to assist Nigeria in combating the menace.
According to the minister, the World Health Organisation, stated that since July 24,2014, about 1700 are living with EVD and more than 900 had died.