Abike Dabiri just gave a travel advisory and pushed herself into a pot pouri of controversy. She has been accused of causing a diplomatic row between America and Nigeria, a row that we can ill afford at this time. She has also been accused of crossing the line as a ‘mere’ Presidential Adviser and finally, the Minsitry of Foreign Affairs has come out to tell us to ignore her warning.
People, anybody ignoring her warning does so at her own peril. Let people be playing politics of red tape with people’s lives and future. Reports reaching not only Abike’s desk but the rest of us are chilling experiences of not only Nigerians but other nationals as they attempt to enter America. The other day we got a report of a Nigerian Engineer given a test at the airport before entering the place.
America has gone to the dogs and the rule of law seems to have been sacrificed on the alter of neo-nationalism. We have seen video clips of American police stopping trains in New York to arrest immigrants although claimed as illegal. We have heard reports of Green Card Holders deported and arrested. Is it ordinary Nigerians with visiting visas who under normal circumstances are usually singled out for less than human treatment that would now escape this madness.
She is very correct and, bet me, I am also issuing a travel advisory that anybody who really does not have any fundamental need like medical and education should for now make other plans until the dust settles. It doesn’t matter who is issuing the warnings what matters is the life and security of Nigerians.
The foreign ministry in my estimation has been sleeping especially when it concerns the issues of our nationals in the diaspora. What is the official position on the ongoing xenophobic attacks in South Africa apart from the tepid statements and summoning the South African Ambassador to Abuja? And,,what about the century old trade of forcefully taking our women into sex slavery in Europe and the many incidents of maltreatment and in some cases outright murder of Nigerians abroad? Nothing from the foreign ministry and now they are deciding to engage in a turf battle with Ms Dabiri who has shown more concern on all these issues.
If the foreign ministry and its minister who has been so docile and invincible would not live up to their expectations then not only Dabiri would be issuing travel advisory, me and the rest of the right thinking Nigerians will be issuing advisory.
The world is in chaos, and we are having a non existent foreign policy which will guide both the government and Nigerians as they trudge along. The managers of our foreign ministry must come to the realization that their job can be effectively divided into two. The macro inter-governmental issues which in most cases really have nothing to do with the ordinary man on the street and which involves their usual diplomatic niceties, with sighting of agreements and treaties and those other things they do in the air and the now much more important one the micro which has to do with the daily lives of the ordinary man has he tries to make sense in an increasingly globalized world.
The government must, as a matter of urgency, look at devolving strategies to amongst others guide, protect and insulate the Nigerian man on the street of global cities. If you ever find yourself in a fix in any country outside the world, the Nigerian commission is usually the last place to go to. Your problem will just be compounded and instead of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to look squarely at these issues he is busy waking up from a self induced slumber to dare red tape when people are stranded in American Airports.
As he commences his usual coffee-drinking fence-mending talks with his American counterparts, he should remember that he represents our interests and that this Dabiri Advisory is a wake up call to him to rise up and do something.
RipplesNigeria ….without borders, without fears
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