Ebola:22 Countries Still Discriminate Nigerians

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, on Friday, protested the continued ‘discrimination and profiling’ of Nigerians by some countries over the outbreak of the Ebola disease in West Africa.
At an interactive session with members of the diplomatic corps, Wali named 22 countries that had targeted and discriminated against Nigerians since the index case of Ebola in Nigeria.
He said it was regrettable that discrimination against Nigerians had persisted, in spite of the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaration that Nigeria was Ebola-free.
He said it was regrettable that some countries had chosen to flout WHO rules and protocols on preventing the spread of the virus through deliberate policies of stigmatisation and discrimination.
According to him, the foreign ministry has received unpleasant reports that Nigerians have been targeted and discriminated in Bahrain, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon.
Other countries discriminating against Nigerians are Cuba, Gabon, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Zambia.
Also in the list are Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Namibia, Seychelles and South Sudan.
The minister expressed dismay that even top government officials on working visits abroad had suffered discriminatory practices by the countries.
He noted that it was “intriguing” that it took time for the international community to acknowledge the valiant and effective measures taken by Nigeria to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
“It is, therefore, my hope that this briefing will assist in expunging any negative notion about the Ebola virus in Nigeria,” he said.
Wali called on the international community to increase assistance to the countries afflicted with the deadly virus.
He pledged that Nigeria would continue to assist neighbouring countries and share its experience on the successful control of the virus with the rest of the world.
A Nigerian, Mr Suleiman Mohammed, who is the Honorary Consul to Mongolia, recounted how he was detained for six hours in Seoul, South Korea, after alighting from his flight.
He said he was detained for several hours by the immigration authorities in South Korea alongside Nigeria’s ambassador to South Korea, Ambassador. Desmond Akawor.
Mohammed said the incident happened on September 9.
He added that he was subjected to the same treatment when he was transiting through South Korea even after he had shown no symptoms of the virus.
In his remarks, the High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago partly blamed the discrimination against travellers from West Africa on the international media and ignorance.
“From Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean, there is mass hysteria and ignorance on this issue (Ebola).
“The international media is constantly reporting that there is Ebola in West Africa and some people think West Africa is a country and not a region and in the Caribbean, that understanding is not clear,” he said.
He cited an incident where union workers at a port in Trinidad and Tobago refused to board an oil-tanker that berthed in his country from Gabon.
According to him, there was hysteria that the vessel that arrived from West Africa may have been exposed to Ebola.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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