Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Britain banned Nigeria for being black, poor; Buhari regime will retaliate: Lai Mohammed

The federal government says it hopes the British government will immediately rescind the decision to put Nigeria on its red list.

• December 6, 2021
Lai Mohammed
Information Minister Lai Mohammed

Text of Press Briefing by the Hon Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on the decision by Britain to put Nigeria on its Red List over Covid-19….in Abuja on Monday, Dec. 6 2021

Good morning gentlemen.

As you are aware, Britain has put Nigeria on its red list and banned foreign travels from our country. This is as a result of the discovery of Covid-19 cases, Omicron variant, in Nigeria. Britain now joins other countries, including Canada, which have taken a similar action against Nigeria over Omicron.

2. Let me say straight away that it’s up to the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) to respond to this action by the British government and others, and I have no doubt that the Committee will respond appropriately.

3. However, as the Spokesman for the Federal Government, I can say, without mincing words, that the decision by tye British government to put Nigeria on the red list, just because of less than two dozen cases of Omicron which, by the way, did not originate in Nigeria, is unjust, unfair, punitive, indefensible and discriminatory. The decision is also not driven by science.

4. How do you slam this kind of discriminatory action on a country of 200 million people, just because of less than two dozen cases? Whereas British citizens and residents are allowed to come in from Nigeria, non-residents from the same country are banned. The two groups are coming from the same country, but being subjected to different conditions. Why won’t Britain allow people in both categories to come in, and be subjected to the same conditions of testing and quarantine? This is why this decision to ban travellers from Nigeria, who are neither citizens nor residents, is grossly discriminatory and punitive.

5. Gentlemen, let me use this opportunity to highlight the fact that travel ban, the type that has been slammed on some African countries, is a knee-jerk reaction that can only be detrimental to our quest to most conclusively tackle this pandemic. 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.

6. Many developed countries have used the advantage of their enormous resources or relationship to sign agreements with manufacturers to supply their countries with vaccines ahead of making them available for use by other countries. Even before the clinical trials were completed, millions of doses of the most promising vaccines have been bought by Britain, US, Japan and the EU. Some of these countries bought doses five times the size of their population, while others, mostly in Africa, have little or no access to vaccines. This is the real issue to address, instead of choosing the easy path of travel bans, which the UN Secretary General called Travel Apartheid. Let the world know that no one is safe until everyone is safe.

7 Gentlemen, in the wake of the discovery of Omicron, the PSC has reviewed its International Travel Protocol. The revised protocol, which came into effect yesterday (5 Dec. 2021), is aimed at further reducing the risk of importation and exportation of COVID-19, especially the variants of concern. Under the revised protocol, passengers arriving in Nigeria are expected to provide evidence of and comply with the following rules:

– COVID-19 PCR test to be done within 48 hours before departure

– Post-arrival Day 2 COVID-19 PCR test

– Self-isolation for 7 days (for unvaccinated and partially-vaccinated individuals)

– Day 7 post-arrival exit PCR test (for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated
individuals).

8. On the other hand, out-bound passengers are required to provide:

– Valid evidence of full vaccination against COVID-19

– Negative PCR test result within 48hrs from the time boarding.

9. These are science-driven actions, rather than those based on emotions and other extraneous reasons. However, if any country is not satisfied with them, why not simply subject Nigerians arriving in their country to their own PCR tests and proven conditions, like quarantine, instead of banning them outrightly?

10 We sincerely hope the British government will immediately review the decision to put Nigeria on its red list and rescind it immediately. Nigeria has handled the Covid-19 pandemic with utmost responsibility and based on science, and has rightly earned global accolades for its efforts. Nigeria does not belong on any country’s red list.

11. Gentlemen, I thank you for your kind attention.

We have recently deactivated our website's comment provider in favour of other channels of distribution and commentary. We encourage you to join the conversation on our stories via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.

More from Peoples Gazette

Rangers International Football Club of Enugu

Sport

CHAN Eagles: Rangers FC players invited to camp

Four players of Rangers International FC of Enugu have been called up to the preliminary 35-man list of the CHAN Eagles for qualifiers to the 2023 competition in Algeria.

Showbiz

PMAN should use music to unite divided Nigeria: Runsewe

The NCAC boss urged the association to produce a Nigerian song that will unify all the different ethnic groups in the country.

Enugu

Insecurity: Ugwuanyi tells NSCDC to improve performance in Enugu

“The corps is known for integrity in service delivery and nothing short of that will be given to the good people of the state,” said the NSCDC commandant.

Health

Enugu rated second best in primary healthcare delivery after FCT

ONE Campaign has rated Enugu as the second highest performing state in primary healthcare service delivery in Nigeria from 2019 to 2021.

FRSC at an accident scene

NationWide

FRSC warns motorists to limit speed when driving in rain

The FRSC said the caution became necessary because of the forecast of heavy rainfall.

Heading 5

Disaster worse than Chernobyl, Fukushima likely in Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant, Ukraine warns

Ukraine’s IAEA chief warned of severe consequences not only for Ukraine, but all of Europe.