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Jonathan Declares National Emergency on Ebola: Approves N1.98 Billion Special Intervention Fund



Nigerian President Jonathan Meets with Chancellor Merkel In Berlin

Abuja (NAN) ― President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday in Abuja declared a national emergency on the outbreak of Ebola virus in the country.

Consequently, the President approved the immediate release of N1.9 billion for the control and containment of the disease.

In a statement, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, said Jonathan also approved a Special Intervention Plan to further strengthen ongoing steps to contain the virus.

The statement explained that this was one of the major decisions taken by the President at a closed door emergency meeting with relevant government officials at the Presidential Villa.

It said the plan included establishment of additional isolation centres and case management.

Other elements of the plan are contact tracing, deployment of additional personnel, screening at borders, and the procurement of required items and facilities.

He directed Federal Ministry of Health to collaborate with its state counterparts and other relevant agencies to take all possible steps to contain the virus in line with international protocols and best practices.

Some of the relevant agencies are the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The statement quoted Jonathan saying that the movement of corpses from one community to the other, and from overseas into the country should be stopped forthwith.

“Every death should be reported to the relevant authorities and special precautions taken in handling corpses.

“Religious and political groups, spiritual healing centres, families and associations should in the meantime, discourage gatherings and activities that may unwittingly promote close contact with infected persons or place others at risk.

“He appeals to State Governments and private day care, nursery, primary and secondary schools owners to consider the option of extending the current holiday.

 “This is until such a time when a national reassessment of the level of the Ebola threat is conducted’’, the statement added. 

The statement enjoined the public to desist from spreading false information about Ebola which could lead to mass hysteria, panic, misdirection, including unverified suggestions about prevention, treatment, cure and spread.  

According to the statement, the President called for greater vigilance and cooperation at all levels to stop the Ebola virus from spreading further.

It commended the vigilance of aviation and health authorities in Lagos for identifying and isolating the index case in Nigeria, the late Patrick Sawyer, an American-Liberian who flew into the country.

It applauded health authorities at both state and federal levels for tracing and isolating persons who had had contact with Ebola carriers.

“The President calls on members of the public to follow all directives by health authorities and report any suspected Ebola case to the nearest health facility for immediate medical attention’’, it said.

The statement said the effective implementation of the special intervention plan would require other stakeholders to take certain precautionary steps supportive of government’s initiative.

It enjoined public enlightenment agencies, including privately-owned media, to support government’s efforts and disseminate correct information in all Nigerian languages.

Such information, according to the statement, should focus on preventive personal hygiene measures, the nature of the virus, modes of transmission and consequential steps to be taken in the event of infection.  

“Jonathan directs NEMA and similar agencies at the state level to strengthen their public enlightenment and to use their networks to distribute hand sanitisers and other protective items nationwide.

“The President directs aviation and health authorities to intensify the screening of travellers at the nation’s borders’’, the statement said.

According to the statement, medical workers and other health professionals are expected to regard this declaration of a national emergency as a patriotic call to duty and service.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.


  1. Iris

    August 9, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Finally! They should also consider suspending the camp part of NYSC. Even things like registration at LGAs are risky but I know they won’t suspend the program altogether.

  2. Gistyinka Blog

    August 9, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    The cure for Ebola virus is task of African leaders and precisely Nigeria.

  3. temidayo

    August 9, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    i thinks its too late mr president…

  4. Mostest

    August 9, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    To think this all started with one single man coming into the country, what is with jonathan commending airport authorities for identifying and isolating the first case. Hellooooo, isolating indeed. When Donald trump said the borders should be closed, ignorant people screamed racism. Well look at us today.

    It is not just asking infected persons to report at the nearest hospital, which I think is wrong, but ensuring that the practitioners are properly equipped to protect themselves and other patients. Releasing millions of dollars when doctors have been clam outing for better pay since.

    We just like to do last minute in this country. I wonder if it is borne out of ignorance or surprised he hasn’t blamed this on political enemies

  5. Mimi

    August 9, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    I thought state of emergency was called during boko haram?

  6. Ngo

    August 9, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    The award of the most incompetent president of all time goes to Jonathan! Sorry, but this guy ought to be impeached….

  7. Adaobi

    August 9, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    All of you should stop, you sound panicked. If Jonathan did not do anything now, you will complain. Be encouraged by this response, at least they are beginning to do their homework. Pray that they continue.

  8. seun

    August 9, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    The president should pls order them borders closed! All this screening @ d borders they think they’re doing won’t be entirely effective now, abi, is it immediately an infected person would start showing symptoms.? Of course not!

  9. bisola

    August 9, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    Yes ooo,and I just hope and pray the funds released won’t be diverted into their selfish pockets.

  10. Livy

    August 10, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Still no one lost his/her immigration job. Rather the team that allowed Patrick Sawyer into the country got Presidential commendation.

  11. dont panic or blame the president!

    August 10, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    please enough of blaming the president rather commend him for at least acting to stop the spread! please just shut up about all the complaints and just pray and hope for the best! some comments just get me mad! everyone just stay safe, stay positive and avoid body contact and public places!

  12. benito

    August 10, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Imcompetence at its best.

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