Nigeria A No-Go-Area Now—U.S-Based Nigerians
Nigeria is yet to fix a date for the evacuation of its citizens in the U.S. willing to return home over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Head of Chancery, Nigerian Embassy in the U.S, Suleiman Usman, told National Wire on Thursday that requests have continued “trickling in” from Nigerians willing to reunite with their families back home and a departure date would be fixed soon.
He added that it was too early to confirm the exact figures of individuals willing to embrace the gesture of the Federal Government as the Embassy still continues accepting requests.
“We are still compiling the names. A final date for the departure will be fixed after all the requests are compiled,” he said.
This is as Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, had said on Wednesday in Abuja that about 200 Nigerians living in the United States have indicated their interests in returning home.
A total of 473, 093 persons have contracted the dreaded Coronavirus in the U.S with more than 17, 836 dead as of Friday and over 40 states in the country under various forms of movement restrictions.
In Nigeria, 288 persons have been infected, seven dead and 51 discharged from the hospitals as at press time..
However, some Nigerians in the U.S have expressed cynicism over the government’s invitation to return home in the face of the raging Coronavirus.
Remi Momodu, a nurse and movie practitioner based in Maryland, has spent 25 years in that country and she doubts there is any reasonableness in returning to Nigeria at this time.
“Do you think people are stupid and what have they done to take care of the people in Nigeria?” she queried. “I can get all I need here in the U.S but people back home don’t have the basics.”
The Federal Government said a total of 297, 973 poor of the poorest Nigerians have benefited from its National Cash Transfer of N20,000 per household during the lockdown declared in parts of the country.
According to Momodu, Nigerian donors should have made resources available to equip the health facilities in the country before the pandemic.
“Oh, it now seems that they have nowhere to run to and they suddenly remember to provide emergency support,” said Momodu.
Kayode Ogabi has lived in New York for about five years. He said he sees “no future” for himself in Nigeria.
“At this time, even if they said it was compulsory for me to come to Nigeria because I hold the green passport, I would gladly mail it back to them,” he blurted.
Ogabi lives in a U.S state that is the epicenter of COVID-19, where 149, 316 persons have been infected with the novel disease and 6, 268 have died from it.
“Your troubles in Nigeria start immediately you land at the airport,” he told our correspondent.
As for Atinuke Adewale-King who lives in Texas, “Nigeria is a no-go-area for now.” She imagined that with a lack of a database of its citizens at home, Nigeria “during a lockdown will not know where a person is and what their needs are.”
Said Adewale-King: “I can’t bear the stress in that country in a crisis time like this.”
Usman, however, admonished Nigerians who wish to remain in their host countries to “stay safe and abide by the regulations of such countries.”