U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday rescinded a travel ban on Nigeria and several Muslim-majority countries by former President Donald Trump, slamming it “discriminatory.”
Decision was amongst nearly a score executive orders which Mr. Biden signed in the Oval Office shortly after assuming office as America’s 46th president.
Mr. Biden said the U.S. “was built on a foundation of religious freedom and tolerance, a principle enshrined” in the country’s Constitution.
Mr. Trump controversially imposed the ban in March 2017 via an executive order that was widely criticised.
He cited “terrorists” or “public safety threats,” for the move against the countries, which included Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea and some Venezuelan officials.
“Our national security will be enhanced by revoking the executive order and proclamations,” Mr. Biden said, ordering all American embassies and consulates to resume visa processing across those countries accordingly.
The visa restrictions were “rooted in religious animus, and xenophobia,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters at her maiden briefing.
Nigerians have harshly criticised Mr. Trump for the decision, with many describing it as racist and counterproductive. Earlier on Thursday, former Nigerian vice-president Atiku Abubakar called on Mr. Biden to lift the travel ban on Nigerians as a way to bolster both countries’ longstanding diplomatic ties.
Read the Source post on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.