On COVID-19, Travel Ban Controversies

On COVID-19, Travel Ban Controversies
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In the wake of the recent upsurge of COVID-19 across the world, occasioned by the new variant tagged Omicron, it became evident that the world is yet to put behind the damning consequences of the pandemic that appears to be weighing down the capacity of countries and their health sectors.

Nigeria has been in global focus following the resurgence of the new variant which has triggered unprecedented controversies beyond its earlier versions.

It was soon after the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic that the Delta variant surfaced, only to give way to what has been termed the most deadly Omicron.

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In yet what to be universally endorsed as the origin of this latest mutation of the virus, Nigeria has been at the butt several unwarranted attacks and ‘retributive’ conclusions by some countries.  The country was singled out by some countries who listed it among others as citizens who should be restricted from entry into their respective countries without taking cognisance of the nation’s untainted global standing as an independent nation. Those countries it is believed have undermined the nation’s sovereignty by such an affront when the red flags on the nation’s status was still wavering and far from assuming an alarming proportion.

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We commend the objectivity of some Nigerians who see the travel ban on Nigerians as the necessary move to curtail any international spread of the Omicron variant from our shores, we take exception to the situation where Nigeria and its citizens have been unduly marked-out as ‘dangerous’.

On a radical note, some Nigerians are of the view that if the nation was well constituted, there would not have been any fuss about any travel ban in the first place, especially if things are well in place in Nigeria. One commentator remarked: “It is not about racism, it is about telling us to go and fix our country. We have to sit down and fix our education; fix our health so that we don’t have a lot of people travelling out for medical check-up and educational support. I believe that we should sit and find a way to solve our problems so that we won’t be getting this kind of insult from other countries”.

Another Nigerian, noted: “Our greater concern is the need for introspection. If we had built our country to be the giant of Africa, where we all join hands with the leadership to make sure that the right things are done, the right facilities are being put in place and we make sure that there is a right assessment for any indices whether in the healthcare or education or even in tourism that leads our people to go into other countries if believe that we will not be much bothered with these challenges that we are faced today”.

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Some have urged the Federal Government to reconsider Nigeria’s membership of the Commonwealth of Nations, stressing that despite the “special relationship”, the UK continues to treat Nigeria with contempt.

Luke Onofiok, PDP, Akwa-Ibom, also echoed the position of Mr Nnaji on the need to fix Nigeria as a response to the latest ban by the UK and other countries.

“Our greater concern is the need for introspection. If we had built our country to be the giant of Africa, where we all join hands with the leadership to make sure that the right things are done, the right facilities are being put in place and we make sure that there is a right assessment for any indices whether in the healthcare or education or even in tourism that leads our people to go into other countries if believe that we will not be much bothered with these challenges that we are faced today”, he said.

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“special relationship”, the UK continues to treat Nigeria with contempt.

The British government suspended visa applications from Nigeria in a move sparked by the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus even as the US, United Arab Emirate took similar positions.

While we have been witnessing a reversal of these bans, it is commendable the immediate reciprocal measures taken by the government by imposing similar bans on the opposing countries.

In the first place, their ban on Nigeria appeared hasty and unnecessary diplomatic affront not governed by strict reasoning.

AljazirahNigeria commend all Nigerians and government organs that stood firm to confront the ugly affront against the country. We consider the whole saga as unwarranted and a failure to accord our country its diplomatic status. 

Aljazirahnews


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