By Bola Olajuwon, Assistant Editor

One-Time Nigerian Institute of Foreign Affairs (NIIA) Director-General Prof. Bola Akinterinwa has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss the issue of immigration visa ban directly with United States (U.S.) President Donald Trump, who signed the order based on an Executive Proclamation.

Akinterinwa, who was reacting to the ban in an interview with The Nation last night, said it would be a waste of time for the issue to feature on the agenda of the U.S-Nigeria bi-national Commission holding between today and tomorrow.

He queried why Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama and not the President or his deputy will head the bi-national meeting.

The former NIIA said: “It is appropriate at the level of the U.S. Government to issue the immigration visa ban. Every sovereign state has the right for self-protection and territorial security.

Read Also: US Congress moves to nullify visa ban on Nigeria, others

“It (the U.S.) wants the Federal Government to provide adequate information on those – terrorists or people with history of terrorism -applying for immigration visas and not other classes of visas.

“They want the Nigerian Government to provide adequate information on immigrant visa – it is not on business visa or tourist visa. U.S. concern is on landed visa. American Government does not want a situation where a potential terrorist or people with history of terrorism will enter its territory.

“In this case, nobody can blame the U.S. for taken the action it took. What prevented Nigeria from addressing the issues raised by the U.S before President Trump issued the proclamation?

“Nigeria’s foreign policy has always been reactive and nor pragmatic. It promotes no concreate national interest. Nigeria needs a foreign policy of grandeur.”

He urged the presidency to investigate why the diplomatic medium of communication, which is through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, refused to communicate the U.S. government’s concerns to the President and other authorities.

Akinterinwa said: “The Foreign Ministry should be held responsible for not communicating to the president and others concerned. In this case, the U.S. has the right to take any action if the Federal Government is not responding to its request.”

He noted that the setting up of a committee to fix the security lapses that led to a U.S. curb on immigration “is a waste of time”.

“By setting up the committee, Nigeria has accepted guilt and inefficiency. What will the committee do? It is a waste of time?” he said.

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