The Nigeria Embassy in Monrovia has distanced itself from recent ‘negative’ media reports linking the Ambassador of being in contact with an Ebola victim, the late Liberian official, Patrick O. Sawyer.
At a press conference in Monrovia, Ambassador Chigozie Obi-Nnadozie, said the attention of the Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has been drawn to that report emanating from a Nigerian-owned newspaper.
However, the Ambassador vehemently denied reports that link her with over 59 persons, who had contact with the 40-year old Liberian national, Patrick O. Sawyer, who lost his life to the dreaded virus in Lagos last Friday.
The Nigeria-based newspaper reports attributed to officials of the Federal Ministry of Health and Lagos State Government that the Principal Envoy of Nigeria, Obi-Nnadozie, was reported to have been among those who reportedly came in contact with the late Sawyer prior to his demise at the Lagos Airport.
But in her quick reaction, the Nigerian female diplomat quoted the Federal Nigerian Foreign Ministry as declaring: “The Ministry wishes to categorically state that Ambassador Obi-Nnadozie did not at anytime have any contact with the late Sawyer either by way of being in the same building, on a same flight or vehicle, or a given location.
“I have in the recent past, been and still [am] at my duty post in Monrovia,” the Envoy emphasized.
According to her, the Lagos State government has clarified that she (the Ambassador) was wrongly linked to the Ebola victim, who died in Lagos recently after flying into the country from Monrovia.
The statement from the Lagos State government, she said, was signed by the special advisor to the Lagos State Governor on media, Hakeem Bello. It therefore explained that the person on board the flight the newspaper had apparently referred to as Amb. Obi-Nnadozie was the Federal Government official working in collaboration with officials of the State government that provided the name of the ambassador as one of the persons that had contact with the late Sawyer.
Meanwhile, the Federal Health authorities, together with their Lagos State counterparts may wish to cross-check this information or any other information accurately for public consumption.
The Lagos State Government on July 28 shut down and quarantined the hospital where a Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, suspected with the Ebola virus, died last week in Lagos.
“We have shut the hospital to enable us to properly quarantine the environment. Some of the hospital staff who were in close contact with the victim have been isolated. The hospital will be shut for a week and all staff monitored to ensure the virus has not spread,” the Lagos State Health Commissioner, Jide Idris said.