Nigeria Plans To Add Canada, UK, Saudi Arabia, Argentina To red List As Retaliation

Nigeria is not taking it likely from some countries after flights from the African largest country was banned due to increasing Omicron Coronavirus variants.

Nigeria plans to ban flights from Britain, Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Canada as retaliation for being added to red list countries over Omicron coronavirus variant last month.

United Kingdom, Canada and other counties have banned movement from some African nations since the variant was first detected in South Africa and Hong Kong.

Omicron is currently in at least 57 countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.

Lagos International Airport
Lagos International Airport

In a statement shared with journalists, Nigeria's Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika said he had suggested four countries should be added on a Covid-19 "red list", which entails a ban on flights.

"We have given our input as aviation that it is not acceptable by us, and we recommend that those countries, Canada, UK, Saudi Arabia and Argentina be also put on the red list, just like they did similarly to us," Sirika said.

"So, I am very sure between now and Monday or perhaps Tuesday maximum; all those countries will be put on the red list. Once they are on the red list, which means they are banned, their airlines will also be banned."

After Britain added Nigeria to the "red list", the government criticized the move, describing it as "unjust" and "unfair".

In leaked audio, Sirika was heard giving explanations on why Nigeria had reduced Emirates Airlines daily flights into Nigeria to only one weekly flight, threatening that those countries that added Nigeria on their red list would receive the same fate.

He added, "Also, there is a case of Saudi Arabia, which put Nigeria on the banned list – no visa, no travel, etc. So also Canada. So, today, there was a meeting; I participated in a zoom meeting, COVID-19 task force, just for your information also.

"We have given our input in aviation, it is not acceptable by us, and we recommend that those countries – Canada, the UK, Saudi Arabia, and Argentina be also put on the red list, as they did similarly to us.

"If they don't allow our citizens to go into their countries, who are their airlines coming to pick from our country?

A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, supports the idea of retaliation, saying "Nigeria has come of age; we cannot be treated like toilet paper."

He added, "Glad to hear that the FG has placed a ban on flights coming in from Canada, the UK, Saudi Arabia & Argentina over Omicron. It is right & proper for us to reciprocate their provocative & racist ban on Nigerians.

A Nigerian living in the United Kingdom, Victor Omorodion, said the Nigerian government is mocking itself if they place those countries on their red list.

According to him, "Nigeria President runs to the United Kingdom every time for his medical check-up; where would he go if he placed the UK on the list?"

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