The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the last general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has reacted to the visa restriction imposed on Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and Tanzania by the United States of America.
In a statement he personally signed Saturday, Feb. 1, Atiku said that the U.S. should have considered adopting measures that individually target those in government who have failed in their duties of serving Nigerians, rather than target the entire population.
“The current Nigerian administration may have its deficiencies and deep faults, but the Nigerian people ought not to be punished for their inefficiencies,” he contended.
Reacting further, Atiku said that 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.
“I urge the government of President Donald Trump to consider the history of U.S.-Nigerian relationships,” Atiku said. “Nigeria was one of the few African nations that joined the U.S.-led coalition during Operation Desert Storm between 1990-1991 when the United States championed the liberation of Kuwait. The Trump administration may also consider the pivotal role Nigeria, in partnership with the U.S., 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.”
Atiku added: “Nigeria has also consistently voted in support of the United States and her allies at the United Nations and other multilateral world bodies. This is even as we are perhaps the biggest trading partner that the United States has in Africa, even where we had alternatives. Nigerians love the United States and have been a major force for the positive development of that great nation: 77% of all Black doctors in the United States are Nigerians.”
Declaring that Nigerians “are also the most educated immigrant community in America bar none,” Atiku said, “Surely, the U.S. stands to benefit if it allows open borders with a country like Nigeria that is able to provide skilled, hardworking and dedicated personnel in a two-way traffic.”