In an article titled ‘Meet the man who tamed Nigeria’s most lawless city’, The UK Telegraph chronicles the story of 51 year old two-time Lagos State Government, Tunde Fashola who they praised for “… transforming west Africa’s biggest city, cleaning up its crime-ridden slums and declaring war on corrupt police and civil servants”. The article however hailed his biggest achievement as the rapid response to the Ebola outbreak and containing it in record time. Health officials had long feared that the outbreak, which has already claimed nearly 5,000 lives elsewhere in west Africa, would reach catastrophic proportions were it to spread through Lagos. To make matters worse, when the outbreak first happened, medics were on strike. Instead, Mr Fashola turned a looming disaster into a public health and PR triumph. Breaking off from a trip overseas, he took personal charge of the operation to track down and quarantine nearly 1,000 people feared to have been infected since Mr Sawyer’s arrival. To quote the article;
For Mr Fashola’s many supporters, it is also yet more proof that the 51-year-old ex-lawyer is a future president in the making, a much-needed technocrat in a country dominated far too long by ageing “Big Men” and ex-generals.
Special mention was also made to Dr. Stella Adevoh, the consultant who spotted that Patrick Sawyer’s symptoms were not malaria as had been first thought. She then alerted the Nigerian health ministry, and along with other doctors physically restrained Sawyer when he became aggressive and tried to leave the hospital to fly to another Nigerian city. Her quick thinking help stop the virus being spread more widely, but also cost her her life: she caught Ebola herself while treating Mr Sawyer, and has now been recommended for a national award.
The article went on to praise Mr Fashola’s role in standing up for the average man in Lagos quoting instances like when he berated an army colonel on TV for following the wrong way – few people have seen anyone stand up to the military before.
To read the full article go here
Image credit: UK Telegraph