We of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), Rivers State Chapter view the spread of the dreaded Ebola virus to Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital as a true confirmation of the failure of the Jonathan regime in the fight against the epidemic despite the government propaganda.
According to media reports, a medical doctor identified as Iyke Enemuo became the first victim of the Ebola disease in Portharcourt and died at the Good Heart Hospital in Port Harcourt on Friday, August 22, 2014. He was infected with the virus by an ECOWAS diplomat whom he treated secretly in a hotel. The ECOWAS diplomat was infected after he came in contact with Liberian American, Patrick Sawyer, the index case. The unidentified diplomat escaped surveillance and travelled to Port Harcourt. The diplomat recovered from the disease and returned to Lagos but the doctor died. The Doctor Enemuo’s wife, also a doctor, has been diagnosed to have got the virus while, couple’s 3 month old baby as well as a doctor and pharmacist who worked with Enemou have been reportedly quarantined. About 200 have been estimated to have had contact with Enemou out whom 60 have been reportedly searched for by security operatives.
The entire scenario has put lie to the claims of Health Minister, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu that the spread of Ebola virus has been contained. Many lives have been put in danger by the failure of government to put in place appropriate measures against the spread of the disease.
We consider it a sheer hypocrisy and sign of unseriousness in the fight against Ebola virus by the regime that has postponed resumption of schools and advised against mass gatherings to have endorsed the mass rallies across the country in support of ambition of President Jonathan for the second term.
We also hold that the fact that residents of Emohua Local Government in Port Harcourt protested the location of Isolation Centre in their area confirms the deep level of anger against the failure of the state government. They accused the state government of abandoning the primary health centre in the community. The Amaechi –led Rivers’ state government is equally toeing the line of the Jonathan government in engaging in mere propaganda without being truly caring about the public health in the country as a result of neo-liberal capitalist agenda.
We call for mass community efforts with democratic involvement of the mass of working people and adequate government support in setting up community precaution, awareness and emergency committees to place a red alert against the spread of the dreaded disease.
We hold that the failure of the government at all levels to contain the spread of Ebola virus has further confirmed the need for a genuine working people’s political alternative. The SPN represents a step along this direction and strives for a genuine working people’s political government where the enormous resources will be deployed to the research and production for the cure of such diseases as Ebola which threaten humanity, as against the current order of profit-first agenda of capitalism.
SPN Rivers State Chapter