Sekinat Abiola, one of the 6 Nigerians that were recently refused entry into Egypt and were forced to return via the Ethiopian airline that airlifted them, said she was granted a valid 3-month-visa at the Egyptian embassy in Lagos, but intended to stay for two week since her business would only last that long.
“I was asked what I was here for and I said business, then the officer asked for my BTA (Basic Travel Allowance), which was $3000, and I showed him,” she said. “Then he looked at my visa and said ‘Lagos Nigeria, No, No, No’, and asked me to go to the left were I met other Nigerians who were told the same thing. We left Nigeria on Sunday and were kept in a room till today (Tuesday) without food, water, or bed to sleep. This is the second time they are doing this.”
Another member of the team, who gave his name as Mr F. A. Babatunde, said: “They told me to go back and get another visa. I asked if the one I had now was fake because I got it from their embassy at Abuja. The official did not answer. All these countries are doing this because of the money they get from visas. If a senator was not in that South African plane, do you think Nigeria would have reacted? The Nigerian embassy in Egypt knows about this entire thing but they will not do anything, since we are ordinary Nigerians. My visa was signed and stamped by the consul.”
Efforts to contact authorities at the Egyptian embassy as at the time of this report were unsuccessful.