The United States Embassy in Nigeria has reiterated that Nigeria is not in any way affected by the Executive Order on Immigration, thereby denying claims that some Nigerian citizens with valid travel documents to the US were denied entry into the US and sent back on the next available flight.
While dismissing the allegation as untrue, the US urged Nigerians with valid visas who intend to visit to feel free to do so and not postpone or cancel their trip.
In a statement from the information office of the embassy in Abuja, it reiterated that Nigeria was not named in the Executive Order on Immigration issued on March 6.
Part of the statement read: “The U.S. Embassy in Abuja wishes to clarify that there is no reason for Nigerians with valid visas to postpone or cancel their travel to the US.
“Nigeria is not named in the Executive Order on Immigration issued on March 6, and there is no prohibition against Nigerian lawful permanent residents or persons with a valid visa or other US government authorisation from entering the US.”
Controversy has trailed the U.S Executive Order on Immigration with the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Matter, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, advising Nigerians with urgent reasons to shelve their visits to the US pending a better understanding of the new policy.
She had predicated her advice on some reports to her office that Nigerians with valid travel documents were denied entry into the US.
But, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which is the organ of government responsible for international affairs had immediately urged Nigerians to disregard the advice on grounds that the report has not been corroborated by Nigeria’s embassy or her consular in the US.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geofffrey Onyeama, speaking to journalists in Abuja said:“We have embassy at almost 114 countries around the world and we rely on their reports. We have absolutely no report whatsoever from the U.S. that our people are being turned back from the US or any of our consulate or any Nigerian that any of our people are turned back.”
Speaking further, he said: “You need to look at the sources of the information; if that is the case, the government is obliged to take it up that Nigerians with a valid entry visa is being turned back.
“I am in touch with the US embassy and the ambassador said no, there was nothing of such nature.
“I can tell you to ignore any call on the advice to reconsider travelling to the US because there is no basis for that.”