The Federal Government has warned the West against discriminating against South Africa following travel restrictions imposed on the country after the Omicron variant of the coronavirus was discovered.
The government also said it stood in solidarity with South Africa, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari would not withdraw from receiving South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who had been scheduled to visit Nigeria with other high-ranking officials of his administration on a three-day visit starting from yesterday.
“The Federal Government condemned the rush to ban or isolate South Africa by European countries, without isolating Belgium, Italy and other European countries that have more direct flights into the United States of America and among themselves,” said Minister of Health Dr Osagie Ehanire, as quoted by Thisday.
“Therefore, the world should wait for that time, than to be enmeshed in heavy discrimination against South Africa. Why would they isolate South Africa? The federal government would open its doors to Ramaphosa and others who are coming from South Africa until science says otherwise. People should be vigilant.”
African Development Bank President Dr Akinwumi Adesina has echoed President Ramaphosa’s call for reversal of the travel restrictions, saying that the ban stigmatised Africa. Dr Adesina also called for the acceleration of vaccine production in Africa. Some members of the organised private sector, on the other hand, insisted that the federal and state governments should take proactive steps to prevent the spread of the new variant in Nigeria.
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