Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has appealed to the President Donald Trump of the United States to reconsider the restriction placed on issuance of immigrant visa to Nigerians and instead punish ‘those in government who have failed in their duties”.
“I call 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,” he said on Saturday.
By Atiku’s recommendation, Buhari and his ministers should be the target of the visa ban.
The Trump administration announced a new regime of visa restrictions which mostly affected those seeking permanent stay in their country on Friday. Apart from Nigeria, five other countries were also affected by the visa policy.
The US said it took the policy out of security concerns.
But while expressing his sadness over the inclusion of Nigeria among the countries affected by the visa restriction, Atiku, in a grovelling post on his Facebook page Saturday morning urged the US to reconsider its stand based on the history of her relationship with the Nigerian people. According to him, Nigerians should not be made to suffer for the failures of the Buhari administration.
“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 United States, ” Atiku said.
The former vice President also urged President Trump to consider the history of US-Nigerian relationships as well as ongoing contributions of Nigeria to the development of United States.
Recalling some of such relationships, Atiku said, “Nigeria was one of the few African nations that joined the US-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 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.
“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. Nigerians are also the most educated immigrant community in America bar none.
“Surely, the US 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.
“The current Nigerian administration may have its deficiencies and deep faults, but the Nigeria people ought not to be punished for their inefficiencies.
“Once again, I call 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