Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Mr Chidi Anselm Odinkalu, has advised the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to shelve its planned national conference slated for next week in the wake of the Ebola outbreak.
The move will be a part of the measures to control and manage the public health emergency caused by the Ebola in the country, Odinkalu said in a statement yesterday.
The NBA conference is scheduled to hold in Owerri, Imo state from August 24 to 29.
The NBA conference usually attracts about 20,000 participants, along with traders and visitors.
Odinkalu noted that the advice was in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Federal Government’s recommendations, having declared the current outbreak in West Africa as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
He argued that the 1999 Constitution gives government a responsibility to take reasonable measures to manage rights in the interest of public health.
“These measures have been taken under this power, they are both lawful and sensible,” he said.
He insisted that if the NBA declines, he would urge government at all levels to strongly request it to do so.
However, the President of NBA, Okey Wali (SAN), told Daily Trust that adequate measures have been put in place to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus at the conference in Owerri.
He said hand sanitisers and towels will be put in the packs of participants.
He said hand-wash taps will be provided at the venue of the conference.
“The conference will go on. We cannot shut down this country because of the Ebola disease,” he said.