Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar yesterday urged the United States President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to remove the travel restrictions placed on some Nigerians by the country.
In his goodwill message to the duo who were inaugurated on Wednesday, Atiku called upon them to help Nigeria in the insurgency war.
Biden, after his swearing-in on Wednesday, had signed some executive orders, reversing some former President Donald Trump’s policies, including ending the entry ban on citizens from over a dozen countries, including Eritrea, Yemen, Nigeria, and Sudan.
The US had announced that it had placed a travel ban on some unnamed Nigerian leaders involved in rigging elections.
Atiku said: “As President Joe Biden begins his tenure as the 46th President of the United States of America, I am confident that this new era will mark America’s regeneration and her reaffirmation as the beacon of democracy to the world.
“As I congratulate President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, I urge them and their administration to strengthen US-Nigeria ties and help our beloved nation’s war on terror by providing every type of support required to win our war against the insurgency we face and that threatens the peace of our sub-region.
“I also look forward to the removal of every travel restriction on Nigerian citizens, in keeping with the good relations that has existed between our two nations, beginning with the July 27, 1961 state visit of our first Prime Minister, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, to President John F Kennedy, and continuing over the decades since then.
“As the playwright, George Bernard Shaw once said, America and Nigeria are two nations divided by a common language. And millions of Nigerians and I wish to see that relationship sustained to the mutual benefit of both our democratic nations.”
Biden had in the executive orders he signed lifted the immigrant visa ban placed on Nigerians by Trump.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Biden also reversed the systemic ban placed on citizens from Muslim dominated countries like Yemen.
Trump had last February placed an immigrant visa ban on Nigeria, citing Nigeria’s lack of a robust database.
The US had insisted that Nigeria must improve on its data intelligence to ease the investigation of its citizens wishing to migrate to the US, if it wanted the ban lifted.
Following this development, the federal government had set up a committee on Citizen Data Management and Harmonisation to address the US complaints.
The work of the committee had resulted in the recent push for all Nigerians to register with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and obtain a National Identity Number (NIN).