Omicron: Govs, Lawmakers Call Out UK Over Arbitrary Stigmatisation

Omicron: Govs, Lawmakers Call Out UK Over Arbitrary Stigmatisation

  • Nigerian Senate charged the federal government to remain firm in the enforcement of necessary protocols to stem the spread of Omicron in the country
  • The Nigerian Governors Forum also says the travel ban is unfair and in a bad taste to the mutual diplomatic relations both nations have enjoyed
  • In the same vein, Governor Sanwo-Olu says Lagos state is now experiencing the fourth wave of COVID-19

FCT, Abuja - Nigerian governors and lawmakers in the twin chambers of the National Assembly have called out the UK government over what they described as arbitrary stigmatisation in the handling of the new Covid-19 variant known as Omicron.

Vanguard reports that the 36 state governors said the travel ban slammed on Nigeria was not only unfair and discriminatory but arbitrary. gathered that the governors noted there were several countries with more cases reported of Omicron but were not handed a ban from travelling to the UK.

Read also

Despite failure to meet deadline, committee against torture makes recommendations for Nigeria

They, therefore, called on the World Health organisation (WHO) to step in by ensuring a uniform standard is adopted across the board.

Federal lawmakers have criticised the UK govt over arbitrary stigmatisation
Senate president, Ahmad Lawan, addressing his colleagues during a plenary. Credit: Ahmad Lawan.
Source: Facebook

PAY ATTENTION: Subscribe to Digital Talk newsletter to receive must-know business stories and succeed BIG!

The governors' stand on the issue was made known via a statement released by the chairman of the Nigeria Governors' Forum, Kayode Fayemi.

He said: 

“Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) wishes to draw the attention of the World Health Organization to the arbitrary stigmatisation that is caused by the recent banning of countries from visitation based on omicron spread. 
"Continuing, he said that only three cases of the Omicron variant of the Corona virus were detected in Nigeria and this was just less than a week ago, precisely on December 1st, 2021."

He noted that it is very discouraging to note that there are several other countries who have also reported cases of Omicron which are similar to or even higher than that of Nigeria but yet, have not been banned from traveling to the Un and Canada.

Read also

Why Nigerian doctors are leaving country to other climes, NMA president makes stunning revelation

Nigeria deserves better - lawmakers

Also within the red and green chambers of the National Assembly, lawmakers said Nigeria indeed deserved better treatment from the United Kingdom.

The Senate noted that Nigeria does not deserve to be on the UK's travel ban list and called on countries such as Britain, America and Canada as well as other European nations to take urgent and deliberate steps to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines as this was for the benefit of humanity at large.

The Senate also sent a charge to the administration to ensure that it continues to implement the enforcement of necessary protocols in the bid to contain the spread of all COVID-19 variants in the country.

Speaking on the issue, the deputy Senate president, Senator Ekweremadu, noted that targeting African countries with a COVID-19 travel ban translates to profiling and discrimination as well as an attack on the cordial relationship both countries currently enjoy.

Read also

Omicron variant: Doctors' association gives advice to Nigerian government over travel ban

Senator Ekweremadu also drew the attention of the Senate to concerns globally over the hoarding of vaccines, and inequity and the resulting consequences on low-income nations in the fight against COVID-19.

Reacting, the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan said the travel restriction posed a serious threat to the hitherto cordial relationship between the two countries.

Meanwhile, the UK has assured all that despite the travel restrictions, student and work visa applications will be processed.

Ban is a wake-up call to Nigeria - Reps

On their part, members of the House of Representatives said the ban should be seen as a wake-up call to Nigeria and Nigerians. 

This followed the presentation of a motion on the travel ban by Minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu.

House members took turns to express their thoughts and said it was time for Nigeria to work towards taking its place as the giant of Africa indeed. 

Lagos now experiencing fourth wave of COVID-19

Read also

COVID-19: When will the world apologise to Yahaya Bello? by Abdullahi Haruna

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has also said that the state is now experiencing its fourth wave of the Coronavirus.

It was reported that the governor, in a statement issued on Tuesday, December 7, blamed the fourth wave on residents' refusal to strictly adhere to the protocol even as he added that the state as of December 5, had recorded a total of 78,564 confirmed cases.

The governor, however, noted that the state was not relenting, but working on increasing the percentage of vaccinated residents from 1.6% to 30% within one year.

Canada rejects COVID test results from 10 African nations

Meanwhile, previously reported that the Lagos state government has directed that tougher enforcement directives be put in place as regards compulsory COVID-19 vaccination.

According to the governor, everyone attending social events in the state must henceforth present proof of vaccination with their vaccination cards.

Governor Sanwo-Olu confirmed that Lagos had been recording a daily average of six deaths at its isolation centres in the last week.


Online view pixel