Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Sarafa Ishola, has condemned the British Government for placing Nigeria on a travel ban.
Ishola made this known on a BBC radio programme on Monday while reacting to the travel restrictions imposed on Nigeria by the UK.
Naija News had reported that the British government had on Saturday banned all flights from Nigeria following the three cases of the Omicron Variant detected in the country.
The UK had suspended all visitor visa applications in Nigeria, but later said visa applications in other categories such as for persons who wish to study, work or live permanently, will continue to be processed.
Reacting to the decision, Ishola described the move as “travel apartheid”, adding that the ban on Nigerian travellers was selective.
The High Commissioner added that the UK government should have dialogued with its Nigerian counterpart and employed a global approach instead of taking drastic measure.
According to Ishola, most Omicron cases in Nigeria were brought into the country by travellers who had visited South Africa recently.
He asserted that there has been no hospitalisation nor deaths linked to Omicron, adding that the new variant is classified as mild.
“The reaction in Nigeria is that of travel apartheid. Because Nigeria actually aligned with the position of the United Nations secretary-general that the travel ban is apartheid in the sense that we are dealing with an endemic situation, we are dealing with a pandemic situation and what is expected is a global approach, not selective.
“That’s why we in Nigeria believe that we are dealing with a pandemic. Whenever we have a challenge there must be collaboration,” he said.
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