Patrick Sawyer, the late Liberian-American, who brought the deadly Ebola virus to Nigeria, deceived and manipulated the Liberian government and the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, to enable him travel to Nigeria, an official, who admitted approving Mr. Sawyer’s travel, has said.
Sebastian Muah, who until recently was the Liberian Deputy Minister of Finance for Fiscal Affairs, said in an email to Premium Times that the late Mr. Sawyer deceived the Liberian government into believing that he was “Ebola Free’.
Mr. Muah was responding to this newspaper’s exclusive report on Tuesday indicating that he, on behalf of the Liberian government, cleared Mr. Sawyer to head to Nigeria even when the administration knew he was under observation for Ebola. In his response, the former minister said Mr. Sawyer told his ministry that he had no contact with his younger sister who died of the disease on July 8 and that he had voluntarily subjected himself for testing which showed he was free of Ebola.
Mr. Muah said even to secure employment as a Liberian Government official, a position that qualified him for the trip, Mr. Sawyer lied that he had quit his employment as Public Health Manager of ArcelorMittal, an iron ore mining company in the country.
The former minister said Mr. Sawyer told the same lies to ECOWAS, and at a point, sidestepped the Liberian Minister of Finance, dealing directly with ECOWAS on matters concerning the trip.
On the whole, Mr. Muah blamed the slip that enabled Mr. Sawyer to travel to Nigeria on a “broken system of communication” within the Liberian bureaucracy.