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Presidency shares false news twice about UAE visa ban lift

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In a series of confusing events surrounding the alleged lifting of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) visa ban on Nigerian citizens, the Nigerian presidency has twice disseminated false information, only to make a U-turn leaving the public in a state of uncertainty and scepticism.

Yesterday, March 5, 2024, a viral announcement claimed that the UAE had lifted the visa ban on Nigerians.  This time, the announcement was posted on the official X page of the Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information, Bayo Onanuga.

The announcement with an unsigned public document, gained significant traction on social media platforms before it was deleted.

The document, dated February 26, 2024, and titled “Joint announcement by the Governments of Nigeria and the UAE: Resumption of Visa Services for Nigerians Traveling to the UAE on March 4, 2024,” stated the purported resumption of visa services for Nigerian citizens intending to visit the UAE.

However, scepticism arose after a few notices of falsehood in the document, and also when a report stated that Tunde Moshood, SA Media and Communications to Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr Festus Keyamo, dismissed the document as a draft, casting doubt on its authenticity.

Moshood’s remarks added to the confusion surrounding the situation, with many questioning the credibility of the announcement.

 

Recall on September 11, 2023, media outlets published reports claiming that the UAE had lifted the visa ban following a purported meeting between Nigerian President Bola Tinubu and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The news which came as a result of a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, sparked widespread jubilation among Nigerians.

However, the excitement was short-lived as the UAE authorities contradicted the claims, asserting that there were no changes to the travel status between the two countries.

Despite the denial, the Nigerian government persisted in its assertion that a historic agreement had been reached.

Despite the widespread popularity of the claim, the Nigerian presidency has yet to provide concrete evidence or official confirmation from UAE authorities regarding the alleged lifting of the visa ban.

But Onanuga who had posted the announcement earlier wrote to debunk himself after some hours.

The repeated dissemination of false information by the Nigerian presidency regarding the UAE visa ban lift has left the public wary and uncertain. 

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