By Casmir Igbokwe
The United States President, Donald Trump, may announce details of his planned visa restriction on Nigeria today, January 27, 2020. Six other countries, namely, Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Sudan and Tanzania, will also be affected. This is to mark the third anniversary of the initial ban placed on such countries as Iran, North Korea, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Reports have it that the affected countries would not face blanket ban on travel to the US but would not be issued certain types of visas. The Nigerian government, nay Nigerians, are eagerly waiting to know the full import of Trump’s pronouncement.
Before Trump comes up with his statement on the visa ban, I wish to suggest the following: One, the US should consider restricting every politician who has a hand in undermining democracy in Nigeria. Although it imposed visa restrictions on some of these politicians last July, it didn’t name them. It is sad that the last general election, for instance, was marred by bloodshed, vote-buying, ballot snatching and violence. Some observers and groups put the election-related deaths in the country at over 600.
Two, all the judges found to have compromised their integrity, especially in election matters, should also be banned. There are obvious and glaring cases of electoral robbery via the courts. The US should send a strong signal to such judges to let them know that it cannot be business as usual.
Three, convicted looters should have no place in a decent society. They should be banned from visiting the US. President Trump should also do us a favour by repatriating their loot to Nigeria.
Four, the US is apparently taking this action against the ‘giant of Africa’ partly because of the security situation in the country. For one, Nigeria is always caught within the axis of terror. The menace of Boko Haram and associated groups is common knowledge. Just last week, the terrorists killed the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa, Pastor Lawan Andimi, for no just cause. They first abducted him and demanded some ransom. When that was not forthcoming, they killed him. Also, 11 Christians were beheaded in Maiduguri by Islamic State in West Africa on Christmas Day 2019. Christians have been lamenting that they are being persecuted in Nigeria.
The continued detention of Miss Leah Sharibu in Boko Haram dungeon appears to give credence to the cry of Christians. Sharibu was abducted together with 109 other girls from Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, in February 2018. The terrorists released the girls some years ago but refused to release Sharibu simply because she refused to be converted to Islam. We may not know the members of Boko Haram, but all those who have helped, either by acts of omission or commission, to prolong this insurgency should be banned from visiting the US.
This is not forgetting herdsmen who have dealt a terrible blow to the peace and unity of Nigeria. They have killed and continue to kill thousands of innocent citizens with impunity. Rather than call them to order, the Federal Government sits by and only sends condolence messages with empty threats to deal with the perpetrators. Such a group and their collaborators should have no space in a decent society.
The tragedy of the Nigerian situation is that, even when there is crisis involving certain countries, some Nigerians transfer the aggression here. The other day, the US killed an Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani. Many Shi’ites and members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria trooped to the streets of Abuja and some northern cities to protest. They also burnt American flags in Abuja. You begin to wonder what our business with the US and Iran imbroglio is. We are even lucky that they didn’t kill anyone this time. Recall that there were spontaneous reactions in Nigeria leading to the killing of some innocent citizens over satirical cartoons of Prophet Mohammed in a Danish newspaper in 2005.
Besides, on Christmas Day in 2009, a Nigerian underwear bomber, Farouk Abdulmutallab, nearly blew up an American airline, flying from Amsterdam to Michigan on behalf of Al-Qaeda. Fortunately, the bomb refused to explode. He is currently serving his punishment in the US.
Outside terrorism, Nigerians have done and keep doing things that make them the object of suspicion in different parts of the world. Recently, we read the heart-rending story of some Nigerian girls who suffered sex slavery in foreign lands. Some agents lured them with offers of juicy work abroad. They eventually discovered to their chagrin that the juicy job was forced prostitution. A certain Omolola Ajayi, 23, Lawal Zainab and some others narrated their ordeal recently in Lebanon, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire and elsewhere. Zainab had to sleep with a minimum of 15 men a day just to satisfy her madam. All these agents who have a hand in the trafficking of Nigerians abroad should be included in the ban.
Due to the hardship at home, many compatriots want to migrate to foreign lands. Many of them do this illegally. Some claim phoney persecution at home just to get asylum overseas. Even our next-door neighbour, Ghana, is wary of us. South Africa is pursuing us to go. Almost everywhere you go, Nigerians are ridiculed and persecuted.
President Muhammadu Buhari does not help matters. He de-markets Nigeria in some of his engagements abroad. In one of his visits to the United Kingdom in 2018, he said Nigerian youths were lazy, uneducated and wanted everything free. So, would you blame the US if it restricts some Nigerian youths from coming into the country?
I wish Trump also considers all those encouraging nepotism, ethnicity and complete disregard for the rule of law for the visa restriction. Our President has immunity at home and abroad. Assuming that it is not the case, do you think we should recommend him to Trump to be included on the visa restriction list?
Re: So Miyetti Allah now gifts Nigeria’s presidency?
You are still asking questions about Ahmadu Bello’s speech on October 6, 1960. His death in the coup of 1966 and the civil war that followed prevented him from carrying out his plan. The Fulani North has been looking for such opportunity. With another Akintola helping them, we shall see how it will end.
– Augustine Ukaegbu, Owerri, +2348179430191
Miyetti Allah now gifts Nigeria’s presidency? It is primitive heart of highest demonstration.
– Samuel Adekunle Ige, Ilorin,+2348032174756
Dear Casmir, one should not see two people in a tussle, disarm one and leave the other armed. Leaders should not make remarks that generate crisis. The case of xenophobia in South Africa is an eye-opener.
– Cletus Frenchman, Enugu, +2349095385215
Casmir, the issue at stake is constitutionalism. No state governor should go outside his brief on security, which is on federal exclusive legislative list. Amotekun will soon be declared illegal by the Supreme Court. It cannot be formed without amending the Constitution. Miyetti Allah are playing politics vis-a-vis Ruga. How their welfare is handled would influence who gets the majority of votes in the North, which would decide the presidency.
– Mike Mush, +2348161114572
Dear Casy, the Miyetti Allah now copies from their elders from 1960. Check how some of our Nigerian presidents and heads of state emerged through military coup. It’s not by mere coincidence; the game now is Fulanisation, total jihad, Islamisation and conquest hegemony. Let every Nigerian defend himself and God help us from Fulani war against Nigeria.
– Eze Chima C., Lagos, +2347036225495
Cas, we should emulate South-West people because they are resolute. FG declared Amotoken illegal and they said no, but our people rushed and proscribed IPOB. What an irony!
– Smart, Abakaliki, 08134774884
Casmir, the fact the Miyetti Allah group is missing is that tolerance is not the same thing as weakness. Every tribe has all it takes to defend itself; the Yoruba have done well, other tribes should do same until the powers that be are ready to restructure this country. Anywhere there is peace, somebody has sacrificed his comfort to ensure it, and not because of cowardice.
– Pharm. Okwy Njike, 08038854922
Miyetti Allah should go where they bathed and collect their towel and leave the South-West security operatives alone.
– Gordon Chika Nnorom, +2348062887535
Biafra and 50 years of unending war
Nigeria stands on a platform of fraud that is further promoted by greed and inordinate ambition of those who believe in assuming political power even if it is on the altar of life or bloodshed. From 1970 till date, it has clearly revealed a dangerous period of ethnic cleansing principally targetted at the Igbo race. This unfortunate act has occasioned recurring agitations, which usually pits the state against tribal groups like Ohanaeze, MASSOB, IPOB, etc. The moral question is, why is it that a husband who believes and informs the world about his wife’s ‘unmarriagibility’ is also the very husband who objects and blocks with vehemence to the extent of applying arms anytime the wife calls for a divorce? What an irony!
Concerning 2023, we have so far been fed with some laughable and very dishonest submissions as opposed to the reality of accepting, encouraging and actualising a Nigerian president of Igbo descent. Before now, did we not have Dr. Ekwueme, who, after a courageous fight and enthronement of democracy, being abandoned and or replaced at the last hour by a man who had no business assuming the high office? The same Dr. Alex Ekwueme was to assume the presidency but the military wing of the then National Party of Nigeria aborted that dream with their 1983 coup.
– Edet Essien Esq., +2348037952470
- First published in the Daily Sun of Monday, January 27, 2020