Travel Ban: Nigerian students association threaten to shutdown British missions, gives 72 hours Ultimatum

Following the travel ban issued by the United Kingdom against some African countries due to the discovery of the Omicron variant by South African scientists, Nigerians have been calling out the UK for such unfavorable decision.

In a recent news, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) took to the streets in a protest, asking the British Mission in Nigeria to rescind the decision to pause the processing of visas to Nigerians which some have considered racist. The student body gave 72 hours to the missions to honor their demand or face a shutdown.

Kehinde Damilola, chairman of NANS said “we have come to say enough is enough with the treatment Nigeria constantly receives from Europe. The narrative has to change because Nigerians are not a symbol of havoc or hazard. This decision will affect not only visitors but also our international students who are studying in the U.K.”

He added that, “the omicron variant did not emanate from Nigeria, neither do we have up to a dozen cases so why should we be punished for it even over other European countries?”

Another student leader and coordinator, Adegboye Olatunji, said that COVID-19 did not originate from Africa neither is the new variant. “Placing a ban on only African members of the Commonwealth is not right. We should be thinking of solutions on how to eradicate the virus and vaccinate Africans instead of coming up with red lists, he said, adding that, “We have thousands of students studying in the U.K. who have plans of returning to Nigeria for the festive season but their plans have been cut short. We are not here to fight anyone, neither are we here to cause havoc.”

Speaking to reporters, an official of the British mission who claimed anonymous said their actions had been noted and appropriate decisions would be made. “We will be relating happenings to the Deputy Head of Mission who will, in turn, make calls to London. That is where we are going to take it from because we can’t make instant decisions,” he said.

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