Nigerians are treated badly in US – Group berates Foreign Affairs Minister over comment

The Nigerian Coalition for Quality Governance, has faulted the position of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, that since Nigeria was not on the list of countries on which President Donald Trump of the US had imposed travel ban, Nigerians were free to travel to the country.

The group said that Onyeama was obviously not aware of the hurdles Nigerians had been facing in getting into the US at the border posts and that some had actually been sent back home.

In a statement by its National Coordinator, Gbenga Omoniya, the group said its attention was drawn to Onyeama’s effort to deny and dismiss the effects of the Executive Order of the US President Donald Trump banning nationals of select countries from the United States despite their possession of valid US visa.

“While it must be admitted that Nigeria is not officially among the countries whose citizens have been banned from entering the US, enough evidence has already surfaced that not a few Nigerians had been put on the next available planes from the US airports back to Nigeria despite their possession of all travelling documents including the US entry visa.

“There’s no doubt that Mr. Onyeama’s denial that Nigerians have been affected by the US president’s Executive Order may not have been unconnected with the Travel Advisory issued over the weekend by the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa that advised ‘Nigerians who have no compelling or urgent reason to travel to the US to postpone their travel plans until the new administration’s policy on immigration is clear’.

“While we’re not questioning the right of the Foreign Minister to an issue that borders on foreign policy as this, Mr. Onyeama has undoubtedly put the wrong foot forward in calling on Nigerians to ignore this Travel Advisory in the face of verifiable evidence that Nigerians are being unfairly targeted and included in the dragnet of the US immigration authorities.

“We had wondered why the Foreign Minister was always behind the ‘8th ball’ in his response to major foreign affairs and diaspora issues. While it’s never too late for Mr. Onyeama to wake up to his responsibility, we wonder if he must play to the gallery with his denial that Nigerians have been affected by the US travel ban in any way.”

The statement advised Onyeama to confirm cases where some Nigerians have been treated badly at airports “and many others who were affected but had no one to report to as his Ministry has no functional communication mechanism, before his next appearance at the next media house.”

“Rather than engage in spurious denials that has no basis in facts, we enjoin that the foreign minister collaborates with the relevant agencies of the federal government in making sure that Nigerians are treated with dignity and respect wherever they may be. Trump is putting America first. Onyeama should put Nigerians first too”, he stressed.


Source: Daily Post