Former Minister of External Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi on Monday called on the Federal Government to bestow Presidential Honour on victims of Ebola outbreak in Nigeria.
Akinyemi, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, said that all the living and dead Nigerians that showed dedication to duty during the outbreak of the Ebola, should be honoured.
“The President should as a matter of urgency send a bill to the National Assembly to establish a Presidential Medal of Honour for these Nigerians who showed exceptional dedication to duty.
“The following should receive the first three medals: Dr Stella Ameyo Adedevoh, the First Consultant Hospital and Ms Justina Ejelonu. They died so that we can live.
“This has to be done now because we Nigerians have short memories. By this time next year, we would have moved on to other things and forgotten them.
“Let us, therefore, honour them right now. We should ensure that they are not forgotten,’’ he said.
The former Minister noted that although Nigeria was being congratulated for containing Ebola, the country had lost eight precious lives.
Akinyemi, who commended the Federal Ministry of Health and the Lagos State Government for their efforts at containing the disease, urged the country to also guard against other infections such as Lassa and Margburg.
He also said that there were lessons to be learnt from the Ebola outbreak in preparing against infection of swine virus from other countries.
“There should be quarantine and treatment centres for virus infections in the six senatorial districts.
“This is because it is not just Ebola that has gotten into Nigeria. We now have Lassa fever.
“Now is the time to address the rot in the nation’s health sector with the same determination that was shown in the fight against Ebola,’’ Akinyemi said.