The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has condemned the death of a Nigerian student, Bassey Effiong, who died battling Coronavirus in the United States of America (USA).
This was contained in a statement made available to this newspaper by NANS vice president, Ojo Raymond on Tuesday.
“It saddens our heart to read of the death of one of us in the diaspora, Bassey Effiong who died as a result of sheer negligence from health workers in the US.
“It is totally embarrassing to read of the death of Bassey (who is meant to be a graduate any moment from now) which occurred as a result of lack of proper care and medical treatment.
“Despite the fact that those suspected of contracting Coronavirus are meant to be given proper and adequate medical treatment, health workers in the US based on reasons best known to them failed to allow Bassey undergo the necessary tests as he had requested, an action which led to his failure to get the necessary medical treatment and eventually, his death.
“This is particularly saddening and obviously against the vision of the founding fathers of the United States who believed that all men were born free and equal.
“This action in entirety is condemnable and shows the level of discrimination and non-challant attitude of these health workers to persons of color.
“This action brings to the fore the memories of the dark days of segregation even though the policy has ended about 5 decades ago. It is a reflection of the rising tide of racial division in a country seen as the leading advocate of freedom and inequality.
“We urge the authorities of the United States to investigate this matter and we advocate for a comprehensive policy to prevent people of color not only Nigerians but Africans, black Americans, latinos and others being discriminated against in the periods of health emergency.”
“We call on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency, see to the need to evacuate Nigerians most especially students in diaspora and bring them home immediately for tests to be conducted for them and necessary medical attention to be given. We cannot afford to fold our arms while our members are being killed in the diaspora.
“We also demand that the Federal Government should join us in condemning that evil act which claimed the life of Bassey as this will renew the faith of Nigerians particularly students in diaspora in this government.”
Nigeria has over 100 cases of Coronavirus. At least eight of the affected patients have recovered.
The country has also recorded two deaths which forced President Muhammadu Buhari to order a total lockdown of Lagos, Ogun, and Abuja.