UK Visa Ban for APC Politicians
UK processing visa bans for Nigerian ruling party politicians Fani-Kayode, Sanwoolu, MC Oluomo and others reportedly on the British watch list
The United Kingdom High Commission is reportedly placing several Nigerian politicians on its visa ban watch list over their inflammatory comments, unofficial and official actions before, during and after the recently concluded contentious elections.
Ben Llewellyn-Jones, British deputy high commissioner to Nigeria, in an interview with Nigeria Info FM on Sunday, scolded the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) for not dissociating itself from one of its activists Femi Fani-Kayode’s demagogic statements while also condemning the anti-Igbo sentiment percolating in Lagos the commercial capital of Nigeria.
Fani-Kayode a seasoned party switcher had said in a Facebook post that Nigeria will become “ungovernable” if the “victory” of his principal Bola Ahmed Tinubu is annulled by the courts.
“Yes, let’s be specific, there were some people, like Femi Fani-Kayode, what is he saying and why is he saying it? I don’t understand,” Mr Llewellyn-Jones said. “It is wrong from my perspective that he will speak on behalf of a party and that party does not distance itself from him and say stop doing that. It is wrong to say that.
“To me, it is really important, people who have said I am part of a party’s press and media campaign, well, the party itself should say no you are not, and you should stop and we do not agree.
Llewellyn-Jones said “we watched very closely. We have a list, we are working through our list but we don’t publish those names. I know people say we should, but we have laws, and the law prevents us from doing that.” the diplomat referring to the Data Protection Act.
Governor of Lagos celebrating his questionable victory
“We said we will do this and we will do this. And we are gathering the kind of information that will enable us do this, on specific individuals. At the moment the list is between 5 and 10 and it is growing.”
Prelude to the March 18 governorship election, Musiliu ‘MC Oluomo’ Akinsanya, the APC enforcer in Lagos, threatened Igbos who will not vote his party to stay indoors.
Bayo Onanuga, a spokesperson for Tinubu, took to Twitter to push for outright exclusion of Igbos from Lagos politics, following the March 18 governorship election that was rocked by ethnic tension, voter intimidation and violence.
The British diplomat also condemned the ethnic profiling ethnic and disenfranchisement of Igbos in Lagos during the last election that led to the questionable victory of Jide Sanwoolu.
“People chanting anti-Igbo messages and walking on the streets by polling units on election day is totally unacceptable. Not just in Lagos, but also in Enugu and Rivers where we had our teams as well and many other places,” Llewellyn-Jones added.
“Why is it that people who pay taxes, who work, who provide teachers, who build businesses, who create jobs, who live in Lagos, who happen to be from a different ethnicity to some other people are not Lagosians? Of course, they are.”
“The strength of Lagos is its diversity, and if Lagos can’t be that kind of cosmopolitan melting pot of culture and language and all the things it should be, then really how is Lagos going to succeed?” He asked.
“If you live in London, you are a Londoner, a British-Pakistan is a Londoner. The British Prime Minister lives in London. My boss, the British foreign Secretary, is clearly British-Sierra Leone and lives in London, they are Londoners,” Llewellyn-Jones said.
According to sources within Western embassies a host of APC politicians are on the US and UK proposed visa ban list. Names include Femi Fani Kayode, Dayo Israel, MC Oluomo, Jide Sanwoolu governor of Lagos and Nyesom Wike governor of Rivers state.
Akowe reporting with materials from Nigeria InfoFM