Onyeama, Dambazau in South Africa to meet Zuma over attacks on Nigerians

Geoffrey Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs, and Abdulrahman Dambazau, minister of interior, are in South Africa to hold talks with President Jacob Zuma over the attacks on Nigerians in the country.

Clement Aduku, spokesman of the ministry of foreign affairs, disclosed this in a statement, saying the ministers would also meet top officials of the South African government in bid to find solutions to the attacks.

“The honourable minister of foreign affairs Geoffrey Onyeama and the honourable minister of interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau have arrived South Africa to hold high level talks with relevant officials of the country over the spate of attacks against foreigners, including Nigerians,” it read.

“While in South Africa, the delegation will meet the South African President Jacob Zuma and the foreign minister, Maite Nkoana Mashabane, among top ranking officials.

“The talks are aimed at addressing head on, the recent attacks on Nigerians and seek permanent solutions to the crisis. The delegation will also meet with the Nigerian community leaders in the country.”

Last month, aggrieved South Africans attacked businesses and homes of Nigerians.

 

Source: The Cable

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

Gambia: Jammeh given till midday to go as troops close in.

West African leaders have given Yahya Jammeh until midday on Friday to cede power after regional troops crossed the border in support of his democratically elected successor.

Marcel Alain de Souza, chairman of the west African union Ecowas, said the troops will force Jammeh out if he refuses to leave the country.

The west African troops entered the Gambia on Thursday night, hours after Adama Barrow was forced to hold his inauguration as president in Dakar, the capital of Senegal. De Souza said the west African force, which includes tanks, has so far met no resistance.

A delegation of west African leaders – including the presidents of Liberia, Mauritania and Guinea – are expected to arrive in Gambia on Friday as part of a final mediation mission, Gambian state television said.

Holding a Qur’an and looking solemn, Barrow was sworn in at the Gambian embassy in Dakar, where he has spent the past few days, and delivered his inaugural speech as president. “This is a day no Gambian will ever forget,” he told a crowd of officials and diplomats. “This is the first time since the Gambia became independent in 1965 that the Gambia has changed the government through the ballot box.”

Jammeh, who ruled the west African state for 22 years and tried to extend his tenure despite losing to Barrow, is still in State House in the capital and is attempting to make a last-minute deal to ease his way out, according to sources close to the government. Earlier this week, he imposed a state of emergency in a final attempt to hang on to power.

Nevertheless, celebrations in the Gambia began as soon as Barrow had made his speech, with drivers beeping their horns in elation and people leaning out of car windows, waving their arms, in scenes reminiscent of the outpouring of joy after the election result was announced. Jammeh rejected it a short time later.

Significantly, Barrow called on the UN to enforce his electoral win. “I hereby make a special appeal to Ecowas, AU [African Union] and the UN, particularly the security council, to support the government and people of the Gambia in enforcing their will, restore their sovereignty and constitutional legitimacy,” he said.

Soon after Barrow’s speech, the UN security council unanimously backed a resolution that called “upon the countries in the region and the relevant regional organisation to cooperate with President Barrow in his efforts to realise the transition of power” – a statement that lent weight to Barrow but stopped short of explicitly sanctioning military intervention.

When the president of Mauritania arrived in the country on a final mediation mission on Wednesday night, Jammeh demanded that Barrow’s inauguration be delayed and that he be allowed to return to his farm in the Gambia, according to diplomatic sources. The sources also said Jammeh asked that Ecowas, the regional body that has been leading negotiations for the past month, be replaced as a mediator.

However, it is highly unlikely that Jammeh will be allowed any of these concessions except a safe haven. One senior member of the coalition told the Guardian last month that Jammeh had “bunkers and treasure” at the farm and would start an insurgency if he were allowed to go back.

Barrow offered an olive branch to the country’s military, which has changed its allegiance several times over the past month, with the chief of defence staff saying most recently that as Jammeh paid his salary, he answered to him. “I call on all civilian and military personnel of the state to support my presidency, since it is built on a constitutional foundation,” Barrow said. “They are assured that they will not be subjected to any injustice or discrimination but will be provided with better working conditions and terms of service.”

Halifa Sallah, the spokesman for Barrow’s coalition, said he expected Jammeh to change his defiant position when he saw that the military were no longer with him, which he thought would happen imminently. “Once the international community recognises Barrow, Jammeh will realise that he does not have legitimacy, and governability is also an impossibility, so he may decide to leave,” he said.

The Nigerian foreign minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, who was involved in mediation efforts, said: “There’s a bottom line. There’s a new president. He has to leave power. Ecowas is ready to take steps to ensure that the elected president is able to assume his mandate. The new president will have his say. He might not want necessarily to ride into Banjul on the tank of a foreign country.”