Nigerian passport holders still placed on Ebola ban in Bahrain

passportAlmost six years after Nigeria was declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organisation, the Kingdom of Bahrain has refused to remove the Ebola Visa ban placed on the country’s passport holders.

Nigeria experienced Ebola outbreak in July 2014 when a Liberian American, Patrick Sawyer, who was infected with the disease flew into Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos from Liberia.

Sawyer died five days after and set off a chain of transmission that infected a total of 19 people, seven of whom, died including Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh who diagnosed the index case.

Even though Nigeria was able to contain the disease and subsequently declared Ebola-free by the WHO on October 20, 2014.

Bahrain hasn’t waived the Visa ban placed on Nigerians during the period.

“Since the outbreak of Ebola in Nigeria, Nigerians passport holders have to be placed on Ebola visa ban, meaning no visa will be successfully approved and printed out so long is applied for with Nigeria passports,” a Nigerian in Bahrain, Temitope Ogunkoya said.

“Many are here since they can’t bring their families, (wives and kids) to Bahrain, I for one can’t bring my children here too since then.”

Ogunkoya said they have made several attempts to report to Nigerian authorities but nothing has been done to address the situation.

“To make the matter worse, we do not have Nigerian embassy here in Bahrain And whereas the embassy of Nigeria in Kuwait is officially responsible to cover for Nigerians in Bahrain, at a time Nigerian consular to Kuwait visited us here in 2017 or 2018 and he promised heaven and earth to solve the problem up till now nothing is done,” Ogunkoya said.

He also stated that the chairman, Nigerian Diaspora Commission (NDC) Abike Dabiri-Erewa and the minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama may have been aware of the situation.

But when The Guardian contacted Dabiri-Erewa said she was not aware of the ban.

“I am hearing about it for the first time,” Dabiri told The Guardian on Thursday evening. She, however, said the Commission will look into the issue upon receipt of a formal complaint.

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