this open letter was written by Deeva Peace Williams of Peace Ben Williams Blog.
Dear Decontee Sawyer,
I am moved to write you this letter based on your recent open letter defending why your husband decided to infest Nigeria with the fatal Ebola virus.
I had refrained from penning my thoughts on how irresponsible your husband’s behaviour was, mainly because he was a human being who had a right to life like myself and also because he had left loved ones like you and his children behind who miss him everyday.
However, your recent letter has convinced me that you deserve no pity whatsoever and has prompted me to enlighten you on what you seem to have so deliberately ignored.
You and your husband are full-fledged citizens of the United States of America. Everybody knows that the medical system in the United States is far more advanced than that of Nigeria. So if your husband’s sole intention was to seek medical help, why did he not contact the health authorities in the America?
Nigeria does not have the best health care system in Africa and that is a fact. If you and your husband were reading the news, you’d have known that a lot of Nigerians travel to South Africa, India and the UK for medical attention. I’m stressing this fact for non-Nigerians who may not understand how the system in my country works. No Nigerian would take your callous excuse with a pinch of salt!
You had the nerve to apologise to your friends, Catherine and Josh for “contacting them so early.” But you didn’t deem it fit to pay your condolences to the family of the two nurses who died from caring for your sick husband? What about the ECOWAS staff who died because he had primary contact with your husband while helping him in Lagos? Did they also not “have a passion for life”? Do you think these people wanted to take a chance with their lives when they knew their loved ones also depended on them?
I heard unconfirmed reports that Patrick Sawyer‘s late sister was engaged to be married to a Nigerian who fled Liberia when he heard that she was infected with the Ebola virus, leaving Patrick with no choice than to care for his sister. This was why Patrick came to Nigeria on a vendetta mission to pass the virus. I also heard he urinated on the nurses who cared for him; yelling in anger when he was told that he had EVD.
I dismissed these stories as unfounded rumours, until Nurse Justina Obi Ejelonu gave an eye witness account of how irrationally your husband behaved while on admission in a Lagos hospital-yanking off his IV infusion and squirting blood on the nurses and janitors. Justina was a young, intelligent and ambitious lady who was full of life. Your husband cut short her dreams and the dreams of many others by one careless act of boarding a plane to Nigeria.
What’s going on now in Nigeria? I’ll tell you! A nursing mother and her breast-feeding baby were infected with EVD when they visited the hospital your husband died in. Scores of Nigerians are being quarantined in Ebola isolation centres; their work, businesses and daily hustles paralyzed. People are panicking all over the country. At least two people have died from drinking concentrated salty water because they were pranked into believing that salt and water were a cure for Ebola. The Nigerian government has given out 1.9 billion naira (about $11.8million) to fight the spread of Ebola in the country. This was not in the initial national budget. The resumption date of schools in the country may be postponed indefinitely until the virus can be contained. This means that students preparing for external exams such as WAEC and SSCE may be adversely affected; the whole school calendar will be affected. I’m surprised you didn’t acknowledge the impact your husband’s deadly visit is having on the most populous nation in Africa.
Instead, you dismissed the efforts of the medical team who risked their lives to handle your husband as “ironic.”
CCTV footage showed your husband avoiding contact with people at Monrovia airport, some reports even say he was rolling on the floor in pains at some point. 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’’. He LIED to the Liberian government 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.
Nigeria was free of Ebola until July 20 when Mr. Sawyer arrived. He became terribly ill on his flight and was rushed to the First Consultant Hospital Obalende, Lagos, where he died on July 24. Since then, a nation of over 160 million people are being faced with a fast-killing disease they have no idea about how to handle. We had no prior knowledge of how to combat this disease, so why would your husband choose Nigeria of all places for “help”? If we were so ‘competent’ why are we begging foreign countries to send us experimental drugs?
Decontee Sawyer, you owe the government of Nigeria and its people an apology. You also owe your Liberian president, Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf an apology because she has not failed her country like you claim. Your letter has portrayed you as a callous and selfish woman just like your husband. I leave you to your conscience.
I may not join other Nigerians to say “may Patrick Sawyer rot in hell,” because I believe I may not have the right to say that. But the name of Patrick Sawyer will always resound as a man who brought death to the most populous nation in Africa. A man who gifted Nigeria with no beneficial service, but a ZOMBIE VIRUS. I will always remember Patrick Sawyer as a medical terrorist.
Peace Ben Williams