In international relations and diplomacy, involvement and the use of a reasonable balance of “carrots and sticks” are typical. especially when the very influential and powerful nations look to advance their own interests.
These “developing” nations, particularly those in Africa, are now dependent on travel to their preferred foreign destinations to meet their personal, but expensive, lifestyle needs and basic healthcare requirements. This is because of the decades of corrupt, ruinous, and incompetent governance of these leaders in these “developing” nations.
The United States of America is one of those sought-after locations.
These leaders appear to have more faith in medical professionals with bases in the United States and Europe than they do in Nigeria and the majority of other African nations when it comes to routine checks. The same nations also have top-tier leaders in the medical and healthcare fields practicing in the United States. To enter the United States, however, you must have a visa or other necessary immigration paperwork. Contrary to several African nations, whose borders are not tightly and successfully controlled, or secured.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated on April 26, 2021, that he would electronically meet with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army general.
Blinken emphasized the “shared aims of improving democratic governance, constructing durable security, and boosting economic linkages and diversification” between the United States and Nigeria, according to USAfricaonline.com.
In my opinion, in order to realistically pursue the “shared aim of enhancing democratic governance,” The United States has repeated its stance that those who interfere with the Nigerian electoral process will be subject to visa restrictions.
Blinken has therefore proceeded to follow up on the declaration, reiterating in a statement issued by the American Embassy in Abuja on January 25, 2023 that the United States supports Nigeria’s democratic process and willingness to preserve the rule of law. Here:
“Today, I’m announcing visa restrictions on a select group of Nigerian citizens for undermining the integrity of the democratic process during the most recent elections in Nigeria.”
He pointed out the following by using American law:
“These persons will be judged ineligible for visas to the United States under Section 212(a)(3)C of the Immigration and Nationality Act as part of a strategy to restrict visas of those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria.
Other people who undermine the democratic process in Nigeria, including before, during, and after Nigeria’s 2023 elections, may be judged ineligible for U.S. visas under this policy. Certain family members of such persons may also be subject to these restrictions.
The statement that “The visa limitations announced today are particular to select persons and are not directed towards the Nigerian people or the Government of Nigeria” was emphasized by the speaker. The United States’ determination to support Nigerian efforts to fight corruption and enhance democracy and the rule of law is reflected in the decision to impose visa restrictions, he continued.
Please take note that some of the children and relatives of those who make life in Nigeria exceedingly tough are in the United States on various types/forms of visas. or different foreign immigration facilities. Again, this sounds like a sensible application of “carrots and sticks.”
•Dr. Chido Nwangwu founded the first African-owned, U.S.-based online newspaper, USAfricaonline.com, in Houston in 1992. He is the author of the book MLK, Mandela & Achebe: Power, Leadership and Identity, which will be published in 2023. He has made appearances as a commentator on CNN, ALJazeera, SKYnews, and he has advised former Houston mayor Lee Brown on business in Africa.