Even as we await few more days to finally make this conclusion official and certified, I sincerely thank the several people who courageously brought this victory about. The many health officials, some of them paid the supreme sacrifice with their lives; the smart Lagos government; the Nigerian health ministry; the Federal Government and its initiatives; above all, the Nigerian people who heeded all these initiatives. This surely is a verdict that Nigeria can beat other odds, it only takes more guts and the right leadership. That sort of leadership you find in those we have thanked already, but specifically in the leadership of Lagos state where it all began. If the Lagos leadership was wanton, selfish or clueless, we shall be counting thousands of cases incomparable to Liberia’s right now. Remember Lagos is a mega city of about 20 million people.
It is unfortunate the plague has now spread to the United States through Thomas Eric Duncan. He flew from Monrovia, Liberia. The ironic thing is that Patrick Sawyer who brought the scourge to Nigeria also came directly from Liberia.
It is therefore obvious that the struggle against Ebola is not over and the Federal government and all her agencies must continue to do all to promote awareness and best health practices. No matter the millions of Naira this might cost, it would incomparably cost more if this were ignored.
Now, let the euphoria of the momentary victory not deceive us. If there is anytime Nigeria should step up preventive/combative measures to fight ebola, it is even now more than ever. All students will be back in schools soon; the crowds are surging in markets, churches and all sorts of gatherings again. The risk is higher than ever. Health measures must therefore be upmost in our minds more than ever. Our territorial boarders must be keenly watched: and that surely is an Achilles’ heel given their vastness. But it must be done. The way ebola broke through the thick, innovative health-shield of the United States is enough word of wisdom for Nigeria.
You do not want Ebola re-surfacing in a country of some 170 million. And neither the rest of the world wants that. Thanks to Nigeria for rising up to the challenge up till now. We hope she does always.