Northern Nigerian Breaking News

ROUND UP: How Onanuga, Ajuri lied about UAE lifting visa ban on Nigerian travellers

The social media was agog on Tuesday, when Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, claimed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had lifted its visa ban on Nigerian travellers.

The document he shared on Twitter partly read, “The government of Nigeria and the government of the United Arab Emirates are delighted to announce a pivotal development in our diplomatic relations: the resumption of visa services for Nigerian citizens wishing to visit the UAE, commencing on 4th March 2024.

“This agreement is the culmination of extensive dialogues between the two nations, highlighting a shared vision for enhanced cooperation and mutual growth.

“To facilitate a smooth visa application journey for Nigerians, the UAE has introduced an innovative document verification process.”

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But after some minutes that the document had gone viral, he deleted his tweet and posted another statement distancing the federal government from the earlier claim.

The media adviser faulted his own statement, saying, “UAE has not resumed visa issuance to Nigerians. The document in circulation is not authorised either by the Nigerian government or the UAE.”

Onanuga is, however, not the first presidential aide to share false information about the visa ban controversy. SOLACEBASE recalls that Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to Tinubu on media and publicity, on September 11, 2023, issued a statement alleging the UAE lifted the visa ban.

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The statement came after Tinubu visited the emirate to meet Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE president, to discuss both countries’ bilateral relations.

However, the UAE issued a statement after the meeting and made no mention of lifting the ban. As Onanuga made an open confession on Tuesday, Ajuri did the same in September 2023. 

The UAE banned citizens from approximately 20 African countries from coming in in October 2022. The countries are Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Cameroon, Liberia, Burundi, Republic of Guinea, Gambia, Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Benin, Ivory Coast, Congo, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Comoros and the Dominican Republic.

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