The Federal and Lagos State Governments have been advised to immediately cancel the scheduled African Nations Cup Qualifier match between Serra-lone and Cote D’Ivoire which is to come up at the Teslim Balogun Stadium SuruLere, Lagos on Saturday 6th September 2015.
The call was made by Mr. Gbenga Soloki, General Secretary, Centre for Ethics, Democracy and Development (CEDAD) at a press conference in Lagos.
According to the General Secretary of CEDAD, the neighboring Serra Leonean-lonian Government is still been challenged by Ebola, as such, the lives of several Nigerians will be in great danger if the proposed match is allowed to come up.
It would be recalled that last year, the Nigeria nation was drawn into the Ebola crisis by a Seria-Lonian diplomat, late Mr. Patrick Sawyer which was contained by the ingenuity of the medical team of the Lagos State Government with the assistance of the Federal Government.
“The peculiarity of Lagos as the nations melting pot, coupled with the several millions of Lagosians who are great football fans will be at a great risk if the match is played in Lagos or any part of Nigeria.
Facts made available to us revealed that Sierra Leone had about the worst case of concealment of Ebola victims from its health officials.
“There were many unreported cases and instances of Ebola victims that are being concealed and buried by the Sierra-Leonian government which our organization have access to.
“The logical thing for any government that cherishes the lives of its citizen would be to call of that football game. A similar example was shown by the government of Morocco which withdrew out of the hosting of the last African Cup of Nations (CAN).
“It gave as its reason; the need to protect its citizenry from the Ebola scourge ravaging West Africa then.
“We are therefore calling on all Nigerians, the Labour Unions, Health workers and other Civil Societies to rise up and support the clarion call to immediately put a stop to any plans to host any sporting event between both nations until there is full assurance that Sierra Leone is indeed certified free from Ebola.
“Similarly we are calling on President Mahammadu Buahari to prevail on Nigerian Immigration Services not to issue entry permits to the supporters club of Serra Lone and Cote D’Ivoure team. Similarly we call on all state governors to reject the hosting in the overall health interest of all Nigerians
“Nigerian nation cannot take this risk of hosting this match because of the love of Nigerians for football, while not forgetting in a hurry the experience of Ebola in Lagos and some other parts of Nigeria,” the statement concluded.