BY VICTOR OSOWOCHI, ABUJA –Disturbed by the recent United States (US) government’s decision to place Nigeria on its travel ban list, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar insists Nigerians must not be punished for the indiscretions of President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration.
The Wazirin Adamawa said the US travel ban on Nigeria should only serve to punish those whose actions or inactions are responsible for strained relationship and not the innocent Nigerian People.
In a statement he signed personally and issued in Abuja this weekend, Atiku begged “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.”
According to Atiku, though the “current Nigerian administration may have its deficiencies and deep faults,” the Nigeria people should not to be “punished for their inefficiencies”, adding that Nigeria has also “consistently voted in support of the United States and her allies at the United Nations and other multi-lateral world bodies”
Full text of the statement by Waziri Atiku Abubakar, who served as President Olusegun Obasanjo deputy for eight years, between 1999 and 2007, reads: “I received with sadness the policy of the government of the United States of America to place Nigeria on its travel ban list.
“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.
“I urge the government of President Donald Trump to consider the history of US-Nigerian relationships. Nigeria was one of the few African nations that joined the US led coalition during Operation Desert Storm in 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 multi-lateral 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 per cent 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.”