Ebola: ‘Stop discriminating against Nigerians’

Abuja – Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs
Aminu Wali has asked countries to stop further
discrimination and stigmatisation of Nigerians
over Ebola after the main UN health body
certified the country free of the virus.
Wali in a speech delivered on Tuesday in Berlin
at the Nigeria-German Bi-National Commission
(BNC), praised the efforts of President Goodluck
Jonathan in the fight against Ebola Virus Disease
(EVD).
The minister recalled that the World Health
Organisation (WHO) declared Nigeria free of
Ebola on Monday (October 20).
The health body arrived at the decision after
Nigeria underwent two incubation periods of 21
days each without the appearance of any new
cases.
“This is a testament of the personal commitment
of President Jonathan to the eradication of the
disease.’’
He praised the aggressive efforts of the Nigerian
Government and Nigerians who complied with
the WHO instructions on preventive measures
that have succeeded in containing the spread of
the disease.
“In recognition of the variant and successful
efforts of the Nigerian government, there is
therefore no basis for stigmatisation and
discrimination against Nigerians travelling all
over the world,’’ he said.

Wali expressed concern that the achievement
recorded by Nigeria cannot be said to be the
case in neighbouring West African countries still
battling the disease.
He called on development partners to increase
support to current efforts at controlling the
spread of the virus, particularly in the West Africa
Sub region.
“Nigeria has donated the sum of $3.5 million
towards this effort and would be happy to have
Germany and our EU partners come on board,’’
he said.
On the ceasefire deal between Nigerian armed
forces and Boko Haram insurgents, Wali said he
was confident that the security situation in the
North-eastern part of Nigeria would soon return
to normalcy.
He told the meeting, attended by his German
counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, that
Nigerian armed forces was working in concert
with Nigeria’s neighbours and development
partners to fight the insurgency.
He said the Nigerian armed forces had regained
control of some key towns in the North eastern
part of the country, which were hitherto under
the control of the insurgents.
“We have also ensured that in this war, the
armed Forces observe their Rules of Engagement,
respecting the human rights of the people in the
affected areas.
“It is important to note that a secure
atmosphere must be created for a full enjoyment
of human rights by all.”
He called on Germany and the international
community to continue in their support to Nigeria
to address the challenges posed by insurgency.
The minister thanked Germany for committing a
total of 41.5 million Euros (N8.9 billion) to
various projects in Nigeria in form of grants to
ongoing programmes in the health, energy and
security sectors.
He said Germany recently approved a grant of
21.5 million (N4.6bn) to Nigeria for the
programme on promotion of renewable energy for
the energy sector.
He also acknowledged the 15 million Euro
(3.2bn) for eradication of polio programme
currently on- going and yet another 5 million
Euro (N1bn) for security strategy purposes.

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