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U.S. visa ban: Reactions trail sanction

By Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Terhemba Daka and Tina Abeku, Abuja, and Charles Ogugbuaja, Owerri
02 February 2020   |   4:18 am
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked Nigerians to hold President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) responsible for the negative impacts of the proposed travel sanctions imposed on Nigeria by the United States.

• Atiku Urges U.S. To Punish Failed Govt Officials,
• Ban On Nigeria, Sign Of Pariah State — CUPP, PDP
• We Are Not Aware Of The Development — NIS
• Nigeria Remains Committed To Productive Relations With U.S. —. Presidency 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked Nigerians to hold President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) responsible for the negative impacts of the proposed travel sanctions imposed on Nigeria by the United States.

The PDP, in a statement, yesterday evening, by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, described the sanction as yet “another huge misfortune brought by the Buhari Presidency and the APC, which have continued to wreak on our nation, with its compromised handling of security issues, in addition to escalated bloodletting and human rights violation under their watch.”

The party lamented that the travel ban will have grave consequences on economic, educational, and healthcare opportunities; hurt family and social ties, as well as further put pressure on the overall national economy.

The statement said: “More depressing is that APC and Buhari Presidency have been reversing diplomatic gains achieved by previous administrations, while gradually pitching our nation against other countries of the world, with its poor record on security, corruption and human right issues…”

Also, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has urged the government of United States of America to review its policy, which placed Nigeria on its travel ban list.

He called on President Trump to consider adopting measures that individually target those in government who have failed in their duties, rather than target the entire Nigerian population.

A statement, yesterday, by Atiku said: “While I understand the reasons given by the Trump administration (the failure of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to share information and to address issues of terrorism), the ban does not take into account the pro-American sentiments of the Nigerian public and the solidarity previous Nigerian administrations have had with the U.S.

“The current Nigerian administration may have its deficiencies and deep faults, but the Nigerian people ought not to be punished for that.

I urge the government of President Donald Trump to consider the history of US-Nigerian relationships. Nigeria was one of the few African nations that joined the US-led coalition during Operation Desert Storm (1990-1991), when the United States championed the liberation of Kuwait.”

Atiku also advised the Trump administration to consider “the pivotal role Nigeria, in partnership with the US, played in bringing peace to Liberia, an American sphere of influence, that now enjoys democracy because Nigerian blood and money paved the way for peace in that nation…”

Meanwhile, the opposition coalition political parties under the aegis of Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), has described the development as sign of placing Nigeria as a pariah state.

A statement, yesterday, by the group’s spokesperson, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, said: “The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) was shocked to receive the news of visa restriction placed on Nigerians by the United States government. We make bold to say the development is one of the visible signs of the pariah state, which President Muhammadu Buhari has turned our country into…

“All indices are pointing to the fact that this All Progressives Congress (APC) government is bent on running this country aground. All parts of the country are currently under security siege with killings, kidnappings, banditry and insurgency becoming the order of the day.

“The electoral impunity being displayed under this government has reversed the gains of electoral reforms carried out by past administration.”

This is coming just as President Muhammadu Buhari established a committee, chaired by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, to study and address the updated U.S. visa requirements.

A statement signed by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, yesterday, explained that the committee would work with the U.S Government, INTERPOL and other stakeholders to ensure all updates are properly implemented.

The statement said Nigeria remains committed to maintaining productive relations with the United States and its international allies, especially on matters of global security.

The spokesperson of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Sunday James, yesterday, said the Service was not aware of the travel restriction place on Nigeria by the United States’ President Donald Trump.