The Liberian government
complained Thursday that its citizens were
being harassed and “stereotyped” in Nigeria
following the death in a Lagos hospital of one
of its citizens infected with Ebola virus.
“The attention of our embassy has been
brought to several cases of harassment of
Liberians especially in Lagos and other places.
This harassment borders on stereotyping and
sometimes expression of collective guilt,”
Liberian ambassador to Nigeria, Martin George,
The patient who brought the virus to Lagos on
July 20, Liberian finance ministry employee
Patrick Sawyer, was placed under quarantine at
a private hospital. He died on July 25.
“Just because the ‘index case’ came from
Liberia, so ‘all Liberians in Nigeria have Ebola’.
That is the message and people are being
harassed,” said the diplomat.
He was speaking during a meeting the Nigerian
Health minister, Onyebuchi Chukwu, held with
heads of diplomatic missions in the country on
developments on Ebola virus.
Nigeria on Wednesday confirmed five new
cases of Ebola in Lagos and a second death
from the virus, a nurse, bringing the total
number of infections in sub-Saharan Africa’s
largest city to seven.
“There are law-abiding Liberians living here in
Nigeria who have been harassed. So I appeal
for your indulgence as you frame the
responses especially on the radio talk shows.
People have been making all kind of
derogatory remarks that have been brought to
our attention,” the Liberian diplomat said.
– ECOWAS suspends meetings –
Regional grouping ECOWAS also said at the
same meeting that it has suspended
momentarily meetings that could bring
representatives of its member states together.
ECOWAS Commission vice president Toga
Mcintosh said that the management of the 15-
nation grouping has decided “to suspend all
meetings that will bring us together coming
from our various countries”.
“Except if the mision is so essential and well
guided, we will approve. All other missions,
meetings will be suspended for a while.”
The suspension is initially for the whole of
August, after which the situation will be
reviewed for further action, an ECOWAS
spokesman, Sunny Ugoh, told AFP.
The Lagos liaison office of the Economic
Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) has
been temporaily closed down and fumigated,
Mcintosh told the meeting.
It was clear that some ECOWAS officials had
primary contact with Sawyer in the
organisation’s Lagos office when he arrived, he
also said, but gave no further details.
The Nigerian health minister said Nigeria will
begin to screen all outbound air travellers and
if they are found to have the Ebola virus, they
will be asked to stay back.
“We don’t want them to go to other countries
and cause problems for those countries…. We
can’t allow you to take it (Ebola virus) to your
country and cause problems for them,”
The Liberian government