Jonathan, Atiku welcome Nigeria’s Ebola-free status

Goodluck Johnathan.President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday welcomed the declaration by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that Nigeria is now officially Ebola-free after 42 days without any incidence of the disease.

A release signed by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, said “Jonathan dedicates the certification to the many patriotic health workers, volunteers and ordinary Nigerians who worked tirelessly, some of them paying the ultimate price, to stop the deadly virus in its track after it entered the country in July this year.

The President, Abati continued,“seizes this opportunity to also reiterate his appreciation of the contributions of state governments, WHO and other international health organisations, relatives of infected persons and other Nigerians who either courageously underwent the rigours of being quarantined or complied with all directives issued by health authorities to defeat the virus.

“He believes that Nigeria’s globally-acclaimed success against Ebola is a testimony to what Nigerians can achieve if they set aside their differences and work together, and calls on Nigerians to strive to replicate the unity of purpose and all-hands-on-deck approach adopted against Ebola in other areas of national life.”

The Presidency however sounded a note of warning that “while we have won a battle against Ebola, the war will only truly end when West Africa, Africa and the world are declared free of Ebola.

“The President consequently directs that all the anti-Ebola measures taken after the entry of the virus into the country should remain in place and that health officials should continue to actively screen persons entering the country through its air, land and sea borders for any sign of the virus.”

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar also commended the successful eradication of the virus disease in Nigeria, a feat he said, would change the negative perception of the country by the outside world.

In a press statement issued by his media office in Abuja on Monday, the former Vice President said the Federal Government, Lagos and Rivers governments should be commended for this remarkable achievement in the face of the grimmest medical crisis that the country found itself dealing with.

He said the successful eradication of Ebola and the declaration of Nigeria as Ebola-free was a clear demonstration of the outcome of collaboration, hard work and commitment of the Government of Nigeria, Lagos and Rivers governments.

Atiku explained that when leaders work together for the common good of the society, there was always a ray of hope for the nation.

The former Vice President also extolled the virtues of the medical personnel during the battle to control the spread of Ebola. He said he was touched by the sacrifices of these medical personnel who sacrificed their own lives to save others.

Like Jonathan, Atiku advised the entire country not to rest on its oars until the last vestiges of the Ebola virus are destroyed.

He said every country must demonstrate the capacity to carry its fate in its own hands instead of relying on the outside world, and that he was proud Nigeria demonstrated that capacity.