Via Premium Times: Ebola: Jonathan fails to stop rallies for own reelection despite advising against large gatherings. Excerpt:
President Goodluck Jonathan has turned a blind eye to the massive political rallies being staged across the country by Transformation Ambassador of Nigeria [TAN], a group campaigning for his reelection in next year’s presidential election, PREMIUM TIMES can report today.
The President wouldn’t halt the rallies despite personally warning against such large gatherings as part of measures for checking the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria.
“Religious and political groups, spiritual healing centres, families, associations and other bodies should, in the meantime, discourage gatherings and activities that may unwittingly promote close contact with infected persons or place others at risk,” Mr. Jonathan said on August 8 while declaring the control and containment of the Ebola virus in Nigeria a national emergency.
The president’s directive came on the heels of a similar one by the Lagos State Government, which has been working hard to stop the deadly virus from spreading in the country.
The state Commissioner for Health, Jide Idris, had while briefing journalists on August 6 advised churches, mosques and other religious organisations to suspend all activities that involve large gatherings of people until the Ebola outbreak is brought under control.
The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, also said at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Meeting on Wednesday, August 20, that the Osun Osogbo festival as well as other major events in the country should be put on hold to curtail the spread of the virus.
But despite these directives, TAN has continued to stage pro-Jonathan rallies bringing together several thousands of people, with top administration officials and close aides of the president participating in their numbers.
No one has called the organization to order, suggesting that the President is ready to violate even important regulations he helped put in place provided doing so would boost his political fortunes and help his reelection cause.