Trump Confusion: Two Buhari Ministers Give Conflicting Orders

By Ikenga Chronicles March 7, 2017

A day after the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, cautioned Nigerians against traveling to the United States, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has asked Nigerians to disregard the caution.

Dabiri-Erewa had in a statement on Monday said that Nigerians “without any compelling or essential reasons” should hesitate before traveling to the US.

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She had said, “In the last few weeks, the office has received a few cases of Nigerians with valid multiple-entry US visas being denied entry and sent back to Nigeria. In such cases reported to the office, such affected persons were sent back immediately on the next available flight and their visas were cancelled.”

She added that “No reasons were given for the decision by the US immigration authorities,” she said the recommendation to postpone trips was agreed “until there is clarity on the new immigration policy from Washington.’’

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However, Onyeama who spoke with newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, asked Nigerians to debunk the minister’s travel caution, advising that Nigerians with valid travel documents who intend traveling to the US should go ahead without fears.

According to the Minister, the US Ambassador to Nigeria and other top officials had revealed that Nigerians will in no way be affected by the new
travel ban in the US.

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Onyeama said if the government is speaking on any external relations, it will be heard from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Presidency as any other source is not from the government.

He said Nigeria had embassies in almost 114 countries across the world and the ministry relied on their reports.

“The U.S. Government has been reaching out to Nigeria.

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“The U.S. president took all the trouble to call our president and to offer the hand of cooperation to see how he was doing.

“And, to congratulate him on the efforts he is being making and expressing the respect that he had for him, his leadership and his government,” he said.

According to him, the U.S Secretary of State called to echo exactly the same thing and our cooperation with them is exemplary.

“Nigeria is on no list and Nigerians are on no list ban by the U.S. Government and it is always business as usual and very good business with the U.S. Government.

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“Anything you hear in respect of the U.S. is incorrect, so any one that has valid document to go to the U.S. or any other country should please proceed to do so,” he said.

In the same vein, the minister said there was no life lost in the recent xenophobic attacks against Nigerians living in South Africa as was also reported in the media.

“I want to say that no Nigerian was killed at the last xenophobic attacks in South Africa, wherever the information is coming from it is not true.

“We have the high commissioner and we have the consular there and the report of people being killed is not correct,” he said.

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He said the Federal Government was having discussion with the South African Authority at the highest level to ensure that the issue did not repeat itself.

Onyeama said the discussion was also to ensure the protection of foreigners living in South Africa.

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