Minister overrules Dabiri-Erewa over U.S. travel warning

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama

Geoffrey Onyeama, foreign affairs minister, has advised Nigerians willing to visit the US to do so if they have valid travel documents.

Onyeama said this during an interactive session with reporters in Abuja on Tuesday.

He spoke less than 24 hours after Abike Dabiri-Erewa, senior special assistant to the president on foreign affairs and diaspora, counselled Nigerians to postpone US trips.

Dabiri-Erewa said it had become important to issue the warning after the reports of Nigerians being denied entry into the US.

“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,” read a statement issued on her behalf by Abdurrahman Balogun, her media aide.

“In such cases reported to the office, such affected persons were sent back immediately on the next available flight and their visas were cancelled.”

But Onyeama said the US ambassador to Nigeria and other top officials have denied reports that Nigerians were being targeted for deportation.

Dabiri-Erewa’s statement resulted in a diplomatic row between Nigeria and the US.

Trump’s immigration policy has sent wave of shock across the world.

On Monday, the US government announced a revised travel ban after a previous order was suspended by a court.

The new immigration order placed a 90-day ban on citizens of six predominantly Islamic nations – Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

Iran has since vowed to block US citizens from its country.