Within the ongoing investigation by the National Police on the attempt to introduce into the country a person infected with Ebola, in recent days the main witnesses have testified in the case, as well as Andres Esono, Secretary General of the opposition party, Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS).
The events began to be known once the African Cup of Nations, CAN 2015, was over, when initial reports reached the media. According to witnesses being questioned these days, the opposition parties Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS), the extinct Popular Party (PP) and the so-called Coalition for Democratic Restoration (CORED), attempted to get an Ebola patient to travel to Equatorial Guinea to spread the disease during the course of the sport competition. We must recall that these parties were also those who protested strongly against the organization of the CAN 2015 and staged a boycott campaign with pamphlets and graffiti, and instructed their members to undertake various actions of sabotage against this football event (the largest on the African continent), that the Government had decided to hold through solidarity.
One of the people who uncovered this issue was Crisantos Obama, who for years has represented Equatorial Guinea at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and traveled to Malabo at the request of the security services to testify about this case. As he stated publicly, it all started when a citizen of Guinea Conakry, Diallo Coulibaly, contacted him through a social network, to tell him that he had been proposed to take his sick brother to Equatorial Guinea during the competition in exchange for money: “I had knowledge of information that a group of national opponents had tried to buy off a sick Ebola patient during the CAN. And we sent this information to the security department so it could be investigated. The source was a contact I established on social networks, and who informed us that his family was contacted to move his brother Serif Coulibaly, an Ebola patient, to Equatorial Guinea for the CAN and that his family would receive 150,000 euros in exchange.” Currently, Crisantos Obama continues in Malabo, at the request of the authorities, until the case is clarified.
The main testimony of this case is precisely that of Diallo Coulibaly, the citizen of Guinea Conakry who somehow has “uncovered” this issue, by stating that Andres Esono, representing these parties, offered him 150,000 euros to take his brother Serif, sick with Ebola, to Equatorial Guinea for the CAN.
According to Coulibaly, a cousin put him in contact with Andres Esono, who then spoke to him by telephone: “Mr. Esono called me to meet and told me they had contacted my family, because they wanted us to give them my brother who is infected with Ebola. He told me that if I accepted, he was willing to pay 150,000 Euros. I wanted to know how he would raise so much money. He replied that money was not a problem, because he represented three political parties in Equatorial Guinea and the money would come from Spain or France. They just needed my agreement. Although initially he did not want to mention the names of the parties he represented, when I explained to him that I couldn’t trust them unless I had more information, he said that the parties were the PP, the CPDS and CORED. Later I checked the Internet to verify that indeed these were political parties in Equatorial Guinea.”
Coulibaly continues saying that, at first, he had doubts about these plans: “I told Mr. Esono that it was a lot of money, and I had to go to the town to talk to my family and know the status of my brother. So I went quickly my town, and there I found that these people had already contacted my family. My family had accepted and agreed to take the money, but they wanted me agree as well and handle it. However, my brother was already very sick, and his health deteriorated with this issue, so he died while I was there. When my brother died, I let Mr. Esono know, who expressed his condolences. He asked me to call him upon my return to Conakry. When I returned to the city, I called him and he warned me that if I talked about this I would put my life in danger. I asked if it was a threat and he answered it was more than a threat. I told him not to worry, He could count on my silence. He said his work was not finished, and that they would look for another person.”
In Coulibaly’s opinion, the death of his brother was due to this issue. For that reason, his conscience was not clear, and decided to contact an authority of Equatorial Guinea to tell them the whole thing: “I contacted Mr. Crisantos Obama through the Internet, seeing that he was a Guinean diplomat. I told him about the matter, and he asked if I would travel to Equatorial Guinea to provide that information. I said yes, provided that they ensure my safety because I had been threatened. Mr. Obama put me in touch with the police, and I came to Equatorial Guinea.”
Another person testifying is precisely one of the leaders of CPDS. Specifically, Gaspar Ndong Ela, head of the party in Mikomeseng, who has told Radio Television of Equatorial Guinea (RTVGE) that he was instructed to conduct the campaign against the CAN: “As Secretary General of organization of the CPDS in my area, they call me every week. I was instructed to carry out a campaign against the Government because, they said, the CAN should not be held here because of Ebola. Analyzing it as a Guinean, I decided to personally report them because this is no longer the concurrence of ideas that was signed in 1992. It is an instruction that I received from Andres Esono Ondo,” said this head of the CPDS to the press.
Currently, the police are still working on the case and taking statements of all involved. On March 6, Andres Esono, Secretary General of CPDS, also testified on the alleged involvement of his party in these events.
Police are still investigating the case and taking statements from representatives of the PP and CORED. The proceedings will eventually be submitted to the court for the judge to determine the matter.
Equatorial Guinea’s Press and Information Office