Success Nwogu, Abuja
A former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, on Saturday urged the President of the United States, Mr. Donald Trump, to reconsider his travel ban on Nigerians.
Trump had imposed an immigration ban on Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan.
But Atiku in a statement he personally signed, said he received the ban with sadness.
He said he understood the reasons given by Trump administration for the ban which are the alleged failure of the regime of the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), to share information and to address issues of terrorism.
He, however, said the ban did not take into account the pro-American sentiments of the Nigerian public and the solidarity previous Nigerian administrations have had with the US.
He said, “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 collation during the Operation Desert Storm in 1990-1991, when the US 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.”
The former VP also said Nigeria has also consistently voted in support of the US and its allies at the United Nations and other multi-lateral world bodies.
According to him, this is even as Nigeria is perhaps the biggest trading partner that the US has in Africa, even where Nigeria had alternatives.
He stated that Nigerians love the United States and have been a major force for the positive development of the US.
According to him, 77 per cent of all black doctors in the US are Nigerians.
He also said Nigerians are also the most educated immigrant community in America.
He said that 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 two-way traffic.
Atiku said, “The current Nigerian administration may have its deficiencies and deep faults, but the Nigerian 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.”