Dennis Akagha, a data analyst, has narrated how the Nigerian government failed to recognise Justina Ejelonu, his fiancée, six years after she lost her life while fighting Ebola.
In a thread on Twitter on Wednesday, Akagha explained that his wife-to-be, who was pregnant at the time, had taken up a job with the First Consultant Hospital in Lagos considering the proximity to their home.
He recalled that on the day she was supposed to resume work, she had started exhibiting weakness and sickness typical of a pregnant woman.
Akagha said she had insisted on resuming work despite several entreaties from him to make her stay at home.
The data analyst said unfortunately for her, Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian-American, who was diagnosed with the Ebola virus disease, turned out to be Ejelonu’s first patient for the day on getting to work
The encounter, he said, marked the beginning of their ugly ordeals as she had a miscarriage three weeks later and would die eventually.
He said despite sacrificing her life to treat Sawyer, the federal government has failed to acknowledge her heroics and that of others who ensured the virus did not spread as it should in the country.
Rather, he said some Nigerians have continued to push the narrative that only Stella Ameyo Adadevoh, a medical doctor, prevented the spread of the disease in the country.
“My pain is not just because she died a very painful death, but years after her death, it was as if only one person was the reason why Ebola did not spread as much as it could have. Justina sacrificed her own life taking care of Patrick Sawyer on her first day of work,” he wrote.
6 years today I found myself in the Ebola Isolation ward after the death of my late finacee (Jusitna Ejelonu) who got infected on the first day of resumption as a nurse with first consultant. @IgboHistoFacts pic.twitter.com/8UEt5sp4s5
— Dennis Akagha (@dennisakagha) August 19, 2020Advertisement
He called on the federal government to acknowledge the contributions of Ejelonu and others who defied the odds, including sacrificing their lives, to fight Ebola.
“Justina Obioma Ejelonu and everyone who haven’t been duly recognised took an oath of service, pledged to Nigeria their country, to be faithful, loyal and honest even when their lives were on the line,” he added.
“They serve Nigeria with all their strength, skill and expertise, defended her from the hands of Ebola but what did they get in return, death, disappointment…
“Is not obvious that we are suffering the painful consequence of the people who think of themselves first, people who consider those in their class first, people who neglect the little sacrifice of ordinary Nigerian?
“I have said this, not once, not twice; that she and others who haven’t been duly recognised, died for a good cause. They sacrificed themselves; they gave up their own interests, happiness, and desires, for the sake of the safety of all Nigerians.
“Therefore, they deserve more, they deserve better!”
In celebrating her, TheCable recently named the late doctor as the Nigerian of the Decade, describing her as that citizen “whose life has shown that you can make a difference in the lives of millions of your compatriots without wielding the power of the state”.
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