Moghalu wants Nigeria to ban travellers from Canada, UK in retaliation

Travel restrictions that have especially targeted African countries have been widely-criticised as discriminatory.

Kingsley Moghalu [Twitter/@MoghaluKingsley]

Former presidential candidate, Kingsley Moghalu, has called for Nigeria to issue reciprocal restrictions on travels from Western countries that have restricted foreign travellers from Nigeria over the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

It's unclear where or when the variant first emerged, but it has created a global panic since South African health officials first reported it two weeks ago.

The emergence of the variant has led to a flurry of travel bans, mostly affecting African countries, with cases already detected in over 30 countries, many of them in Europe.

Canada and the United Kingdom last week put Nigeria on their border red lists, allowing entrance only for citizens and permanent residents.

Moghalu said in a series of tweets on Sunday, December 5, 2021 that Nigeria and other African countries should retaliate.

He tweeted, "It's unconscionable to subject Africans to restrictions because of a variant that did not originate from the continent, when Western countries with similar or more cases are not subject to similar restrictions.

"This is more than public health. It's about worldviews in international relations. Our dignity matters.

"Our leaders should protect it instead of as is the case with Nigeria today, traveling around the world with a begging bowl for foreign assistance."

The travel restrictions that have especially targeted African countries have been widely-criticised as discriminatory and hysterical by top regional and global health officials.

Nigeria's Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Monday, December 6 said it was 'unjust, unfair, punitive, indefensible, and discriminatory' and not based on science.

"Instead of these reflex responses that are driven by fear, rather than science, why can't the world take a serious look at the issue of access to vaccines, and ensure that it is based on the principles grounded in the right of every human to enjoy the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, political belief, economic, or any other social condition," he said.

The minister especially called on the British government to urgently review the decision to put Nigeria on its red list and reverse it immediately.

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