Ebola: Cameroun shuts border against Nigeria

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APphoto_Nigeria Ebola

There are indications that the govern­ment of the Republic of Cameroun has shut its sea border against Nige­ria to guard against possible spread of the Ebola virus to the country.
The development emerged at the weekend when ships carrying passengers and goods heading for Cameroun from Calabar were turned back at high sea by a combined team of Camerounian security operatives, including the immigration and gendarmes.

A source told Daily Sun that for more than four days now, traders and travellers from Nigeria were being tacitly barred from entering Cameroun as a result of the outbreak of the dreaded Ebola disease.
The source said though there was no official statement to that effect, virtually every ship that sailed from the Inland Waterways Beach, Afikpo Beach and other notable take-off points within the Marina axis were not allowed beyond Nigeria’s territorial waters.
He said when officials of the Inland Waterways and the maritime authourity sought explanation for the development, their Camerounian counterparts told them that the order was from ‘above’.
Checks revealed that an average of eight ships loaded from the Inlandwater Ways Beach and various points daily in Calabar. Out of this three big ships, which loaded from the Inland port, carried over 100 passengers.
When Daily Sun visited Nigeria Inland Waterways yesterday morning in Calabar, hundreds of stranded passengers and traders were seen milling around the place.
One of the Nigeria-Cameroun-based businessmen, Austine Agha, said when they were told they could not travel to Cameroun because of the Ebola virus, he thought it was a joke but was shocked to see ships that had already left for Cameroun were turned back:
“As you can see, most of these passengers are now stranded because the Cameroun/Nigeria border has been sealed off for fear of Ebola.  Even the Camerounians, some of them are here, also stranded, no vessel is coming in, no vessel is going out.
“I don’t know what the Federal Government is doing about it. We are calling on the government to intervene in this matter to alleviate the sufferings of the masses especially Igbo trader.
Another trader, Mr. Anthony Obi, said he had lost huge sums as a result of the ban on travelling to Cameroun, adding that Cameroun should have given them notice of its action.
“What I am suggesting is for the government of Nigeria to take serious measure about it, otherwise Nigerian traders doing business in that country would suffer”.
Obi, who suggested that the Federal Government should mount an equipped health post in the waterways, believed that such measure would go a long way to assure the government of Cameroun about the health status of intending Nigerian passengers to the country.
When contacted, some of the security officials at the beach refused to speak on the matter, saying they were not allowed to comment .

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