The Visa Ban we Invited
By Anthony Akinola.
Sir: Protests are a legitimate ingredient of the democratic process. Citizens can protest against the activities of their governments and leaders.
Such a protest or protests feed into the democratic process, yielding possible feed backs or outcomes. In most democratic nations of the world, citizens do not bother external countries or institutions with issues that are purely domestic. It is a position they take as a matter of their independence and national pride.
The same can hardly be said of Nigerians and their politicians. Every minor issue, even they can be resolved legally or through dialogue, must be reported to the American or British Embassy. America or Britain must hear this, seems to have become the attitude of a people who were said to have earned their independence from their colonial masters many decades ago.
One does read frequently of reports of nationals of foreign nations protesting at the embassies of privileged nations. Alas, these protests were hardly about the domestic issues of their nations. Rather, they were more often than not expressions of their disagreements with real or perceived encroachments of such a privileged nation against their own nation. They protest at the American or British embassy to express solidarity with their own nation or government.
It is no news that the current American President, Donald Trump has little or no regard for Africa. When his recent visa ban was extended to Nigeria, what ordinarily should have been taken as American ever-changing foreign policy saw our politicians and prayer-warriors screaming for attention. Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar wrote a personal letter to Trump extolling the virtues of Nigeria and its contributions to American greatness. He would seem to have forgotten about the possible implications of his frequent and frivolous petitions against the government of his own nation. Even the tendency of the individual to grandstand on an issue that is best resolved between governments, tends to present our people as lacking in discipline.
Be that as it may, our founding fathers did not wish that the independence they fought for many decades ago would be traded for another form of servitude. Monies that could have helped the development of Nigeria have disappeared into foreign bank accounts. We would not be moaning about the visa restrictions of another nation had ours been that purposeful nation where national pride is taken as a priority. Visa restriction on our people should be taken as one insult that propels us to greatness.