The travel advisory issued on Monday by Abike Dabiri-Erewa asking
Nigerians to postpone their trips to the US has sparked off a
diplomatic row between the two countries, TheCable understands.
Dabiri-Erewa, the senior special assistant to the president on foreign
affairs and diaspora, had alleged that the US authorities were
cancelling the visas of Nigerians and deporting them on arrival.
The cable reports that the US authorities are not taking her statement
lightly and have protested to the ministry of foreign affairs.
A senior official of the ministry told TheCable: “The US authorities
are worried that she made such a weighty statement without
investigation, without evidence. The bigger issue, though, is that it
is not within her remit to issue travel advisory to Nigerians. It is
the job of the foreign affairs ministry.
“By failing to observe due protocol, she has caused a diplomatic
problem for the country which we have to carefully manage. A travel
advisory is a serious issue that cannot be issued by a presidential
aide.”
TheCable understands that high-level meetings are ongoing to contain
the potential crisis.
Speaking through Abdurrahman Balogun, her media aide, Dabiri-Erewa had
said: “In the last few weeks, the office has received a few cases of
Nigerians with valid multiple-entry US visas being denied entry and
sent back to the Nigeria.
“In such cases reported to the office, such affected persons were sent
back immediately on the next available flight and their visas were
cancelled.”
She said the US immigration authorities did not give reasons for the
decision to turn back Nigerians.
She advised that the US be avoided until the Donald Trump
administration’s policy on immigration is clear.
“This is only to advise Nigerians without any compelling or essential
reasons to visit the US to consider rescheduling their trip until
there is clarity on the new immigration policy,” she said.
It will also be recalled that in the heat of the Xenophobic attack on
Foreigners in South Africa Abike Dabiri a journalist and former Member
of the House of Representatives called on Nigeria to take South Africa
case to African Union, a request both Nigeria and South Africa
rejected.

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