Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has descended heavily on Liberian officials who colluded with the late Patrick Sawyer to infect Nigerians with the Ebola Virus Disease.
He said but for Sawyer’s appearance in the country, the deadly virus would not have found its way to Nigeria.
The former President, who spoke while fielding questions from guests during ‘An afternoon with Obasanjo’, a programme organised by Inside Watch Africa, a continental magazine published by Oluwaseyi Adegoke – Adeyemo, said some Liberian authorities knew of the contagious and deadly illness in Sawyer yet they allowed him to visit Nigeria.
At the event held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, he said, “It is devilish enough that Patrick Sawyer had to spread this, and indeed spread it to Nigeria in connivance with some authorities from his country. Because they knew he had it before he came to Nigeria.
“The EVD has started to take its tolls on the country and the West African sub-region. The toll is not only on the number of those that are ill or dead but on the economy of communities, country, region and sub-region”.
Obasanjo also urged Nigerians to be “very aggressive with precautionary measures” against ebola as there is no curative drugs yet for it.
He recalled that “when HIV came, they said don’t talk about it. Now it is ebola and ebola is even talking about HIV. We should be doing whatever we can and that is being aggressive in taking precautionary measures to prevent it.
“Everybody should be involved. When you see your neighbour showing unique symptoms not just the common cold or fever, take him to the clinic or doctor and we are told that when it has incubated, it becomes a problem”.
The former Nigerian president, who revealed that he had a meeting with the Ghanaian President, Mr. John Mahama, who’s also the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States some weeks ago, said they discussed how to contain the spread of the deadly virus within the sub-region.
He, however, explained that while Mahama wanted a meeting of health ministers of ECOWAS-member countries, he suggested that there was a limit the ministers could go and that a summit of presidents in the sub-region would be better.