According to a report by The NationSport, there has been uneasy calm among Nigerians as over 30 Congolese football officials and players would be storming Nigeria on Friday (tomorrow) for the planned May 28 friendly with the Super Eagles in Port Harcourt.
In a statement made available, Nollywood actor, Joseph Okechukwu, has urged the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung; Amaju Pinnick, and the Nigeria Football Federation,(NFF) to cancel the friendly match to prevent the nation from coming under the same Ebola attack experienced in 2014, which cut short the lives of innocent Nigerians.
He recalled that, “On the night of Sunday July 20, 2014, Patrick Sawyer was wheeled into the Emergency Room at First Consultants Medical Centre, Obalende, Lagos, with complaints of fever and body weakness. The male doctor on call admitted him as a case of malaria and took a full history. Knowing that Mr. Sawyer had recently arrived from Liberia, the doctor asked if he had been in contact with an Ebola patient in the last couple of weeks, and Mr. Sawyer denied any such contact. He also denied attending any funeral ceremony recently.”
“We all know how that story ended. Patrick Sawyer died; people who had contacts with him at the hospital when they didn’t know he had Ebola equally contracted the disease, about twenty of them. Eight later died.”
He continued; “How can we forget the amazing Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh. She was the doctor who oversaw the treatment of Patrick Sawyer and vehemently refused to let him travel to Calabar, even when his employers insisted he should be allowed to travel.
“This precious angel saved thousands, if not millions of lives in that part of the country and beyond. Dr. Stella Adadevoh eventually paid the ultimate price. She laid down her life for the rest of us and I hope we don’t repeat the mistakes of 2014 in 2018.”
Mr. Oyewole Adewunmi- a Lagos based Social Commentator who also prayed that the football match be cancelled before the Congolese team players enter Nigeria said,
“Infact, that match will not add anything significant to Nigeria’s economy and even if it does, it cannot by any stretch of the imagination be equated to the value of one precious soul of Nigerians.
“Please cancel the match. We are not prepared for Ebola now. We won’t be in the nearest future and we will never be. You prepare for what you’re willing to host and we won’t host Ebola or anyone of its relatives, never again!”
Meanwhile, a call to the Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole by our reporter on Thursday for enquiry on how prepared is Nigeria to screen the visiting footballers for Ebola virus was not answered and he did not also reply the text message the reporter sent.
However, the Minister of Sport had on Monday said the match would not be cancelled speaking in confidence that the Congolese squad will be screened before they travel to Nigeria and they will also be screened at their point of entry by the Ministry of Health under the supervision of the World Health Organisation (WHO).