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‘Attack on our diplomatic relationship’ — senate protests UK travel ban

BY Dyepkazah Shibayan


The senate has condemned the ban slammed on travellers from Nigeria by the UK over Omicron, a COVID-19 variant.

The upper legislative chamber’s condemnation followed a motion sponsored by Ike Ekweremadu, senator representing Enugu west.

The UK put the country on its red list at the weekend after Nigeria recorded three cases of the Omicron variant.

While moving his motion on Tuesday, Ekweremadu said Nigeria’s efforts in curbing the spread of COVID-19 is satisfactory, adding that the country has the lowest number of cases of the infection.


“The decision by the British government to include Nigeria in their COVID-19 list, with its concomitant implications, will affect many citizens of Nigeria, who had planned to spend their Christmas and New Year holiday with their families,” the senator said.

“Nigerians with genuine needs to visit the UK within this period will be denied visa and those with visa will not be allowed to enter the UK.

“Nigerians have consistently complied with all the COVID-19 protocols required by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UK government for travellers prior to this ban.


“Targeting African countries, especially in the COVID-19 travel ban, amounts to profiling and discrimination as well as an attack on our cordial diplomatic relationship with the UK.”

The legislator said hoarding of vaccines and the inability of low-income countries to get them should be addressed globally.

The senate asked the federal government to engage the UK authorities with a view to reversing the decision.

The motion was adopted by the senate after it was put to a voice vote by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.


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