Following the announcement of a decision by the United States Government to extend its immigration restriction policy to include Nigeria, alongside five other countries, several reactions have trailed the decision which has been received with overwhelming disappointment from Nigerians who have described the ban as unfriendly, unacceptable and unfortunate.
In a statement made available to the media today by one of Nigeria’s leading youths advocate, Chairman of Nigeria Young Professionals Forum (NYPF), Mr. Moses Siasia, it describes the decision as hasty and calls on the US President, Donald Trump, to rescind the travel ban, saying any form of travel ban will further create a gap between both countries, restrict exchange of talent and more importantly jeopardize innocent and well-meaning Nigerians who would be most affected by the ban.
In the statement released in Abuja, Siasia notes that Nigeria being the most populous black nation in the world has produced many citizens who have impacted the world positively, including some of the change-makers in the United States of America today. He decried a situation where a travel ban will adversely affect Nigerians who have good intentions and maybe seeking opportunities to improve their lives and make the world a better place.
Siasia said that the US Government should not base its decision on the approach or attitude of the current political actors who may not represents the average Nigerian. The statement explained that although not much is being done to improve Nigeria’s relationship with other countries, especially the United States, however, the US should see the bigger picture as Nigeria is a major stakeholder in global security, the global economy and more importantly the biggest market in Africa with a two hundred million-plus population as the first mover in Africa.
The statement went further to note that so many Nigerian’s are contributing positively to the development of the world in science, technology, aviation, entertainment and research while emphasizing that Nigeria remains a major economy in Africa and indeed to the world contributing immensely to the global GDP through its crude oil supply to international market, as well as its large deposit of minerals resources.
It noted that the sports and entertainment industry has benefited immeasurably from Nigerian talents as well as having Nigerians who have been the world champions in football, fashion and that Nigeria has also produced a Miss World.
The statement remarked that regardless of the current challenges facing the country, Nigeria holds a great promise for the rest of the world, hence should be treated with dignity and her citizen given pride of place. It further noted that if there should be any travel ban targeted at Nigeria, such a ban should be imposed on the Political Class who are responsible for the bad management of the country’s resources and who are responsible for overwhelming corruption that has forced many Nigerians, especially young Nigerian, to legally or illegally immigrate to other countries, including the United States, in search of a better life.
Siasia called on the Nigerian Government to improve on its foreign policy strategy and diplomatic relations with other nations while President Buhari should maintain close ties with other world Presidents to forestall and prevent such embarrassing decisions as a travel ban. The statement wondered whether there would have been a contemplation of a travel ban on Nigeria if the current Admiration has some few global technocrats in the cabinet as such others who are vast in international diplomacy and foreign policy experience.
The statement reads, in part, “As Chairman of NYPF, which has over three million young people, both in Nigeria and across the world, it is the desire of our membership that their aspirations in life be met and their dreams fulfilled in this globalized world and not to visit them with the sins of a few bad apple. This single policy, travel ban, will adversely affect their goals and life. Therefore, I call on the United States President, Donald J. Trump to recall this immigration ban” the statement noted.