Planned travel ban: We won’t react to speculation –Presidency

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The Presidency has said it would not react to the speculation that President Donald Trump plans to ban Nigeria alongside other countries from entering the United States through visa restrictions by next week.

There were strong speculations in the US media, yesterday, that President Trump, intends to add Nigeria to a list of seven countries for visa restrictions.

The countries are Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania.Reports say the list of countries was not final and could yet change.

According to the Wall Street Journal, some countries would face bans only on some visa categories.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the government was aware of the news, but would only respond when it is made official.

“Yes, we have read the news that the Trump administration is planning to add a host of African, Asian and Eastern European countries to its travel restrictions list as reported by the U.S. media. We are not going to react to speculations. We urge you to wait for us to see what unfolds under the new policy, its scope, its reach, the implications and its consequences before we react,” Shehu said.

However, Afenifere has alleged that the activities of Boko Haram and killer herdsmen are responsible for the decision of the US to include Nigeria in the list of countries whose citizens would be restricted from getting its visa.

Spokesperson of Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said it was clear the ongoing killings by Boko Haram and the herdsmen/farmers clashes are some of the most crucial reasons why the US decided to restrict Nigerians from obtaining visas.

“Nigeria is not a secular country but it is being Islamised. In any case, the reason for any action that Trump is taking is because of the actions of  Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen. Unfortunately, these issues seem not to be the priority of the government today. Any time that Miyetti Allah is accused of anything, Lai Mohammed will be defending them. It got so bad that the Federal Government started paying Boko Haram ransom money. It is only Amotekun that is meant to protect people who live in the South West that is the problem of the government. When herdsmen killed people in Benue, the President told the governor of Benue to learn how to live peacefully with them. I don’t think the government would even listen to anybody who try to advise them,” Odumakin said.

But elder statesman, Tanko Yakassai,  has called on the Federal Government to carry out retaliatory measures if the US goes ahead to include Nigeria in its travel ban list.

“It is a big surprise because no reason was given for such a proposal. This action is not based on any thing that any reasonable person can understand. I know that Nigeria is a developing country, and there is a limit to what a developing country can do in confrontation with the US, but Nigeria has no alternative than to begin to look at where it can also retaliate no matter how insignificant it is.

“The President of the US needs to convince Nigeria why he wants to take such an action against this country because the reason why he took such an action against other countries was clearer than the reason for putting Nigeria in the same category,” Yakassai said.

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