Dubai's National Insult To Nigeria!

By Godwin Ikechukwu
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Today, I travelled from Nigeria to Dubai on Emirates. However, what happened at our international airport in Lagos can only be called a national insult! After fulfilling all requirements and having a valid negative COVID-19 test from a Nigerian hospital, the Dubai government released new regulations insisting all travellers from Nigeria must take another COVID-19 test on Nigerian soil – which they were in charge of – before we would be allowed to fly. To add further insult to injury, they contracted individuals from the Kenyan government to conduct the test, which was charged at an equal amount to the test already done in Nigeria!

In other words, what they are doing effectively makes the initial Nigerian test invalid and questions the integrity of Nigeria’s government and medical system. They are rudely reckoning that all the tests conducted within Nigeria are fake and should be discarded. What an insult! I am not saying the UAE government should not facilitate another test for COVID-19 if they insist – but why not do it when passengers arrive in Dubai? Why are you doing it in the soil of Nigeria? Is that not an insult? If there are some test results that are discovered to be fake, then take appropriate actions against the perpetrators. But to conclude that all tests originating in Nigeria are counterfeit is simply offensive. The Nigerian government should do something about this before it’s too late. This is sadly another example of ‘colonialism’ – the Dubai government entering inside Nigeria’s airport (without any official permit) and making it mandatory for our citizens to do another test before flying.

They additionally announced that no airline can carry passengers from Nigeria to Dubai if the journey is not a direct flight, effectively ruling out all carriers except Emirates. Now, I understand that tourism is Dubai’s number one source of revenue and they stand to gain a lot from the popular Nigeria-Dubai route – but why then do they also insist on enforcing a second COVID-19 test in Nigeria’s airport? Will it be written that this test was conducted on the soil of Nigeria by the government of Dubai? Why is it only the nation of Nigeria where this is being enforced? Well, if Dubai’s government insists on such draconian measures, this is the time to protest! If no Nigerian visits Dubai for one single month, I am convinced their tune would quickly change, they would do the right thing and this offensive new law would be brought to a swift end!

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