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Fayemi was not denied American visa, NGF says

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Fayemi was not denied American visa, NGF says

Fayemi was not denied American visa, NGF says
November 09
11:54 2019

The Nigeria Governors Forum has debunked a report that the chairman of the body who is the Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, was denied a U.S. visa he applied for.

An online platform alleged that Mr Fayemi was denied entry visa by the United States Embassy in Nigeria on Friday, fuelling speculations that the United States was already walking its talk to ban Nigerian officials from entering the U.S. for their alleged roles in the last general elections.

The United States had last July threatened to impose visa restrictions on Nigerians it said were involved in trying to undermine democracy in presidential and parliamentary elections this year.

The U.S. State Department, however, did not name the individuals or say how many would be affected by the visa restrictions.

A spokeswoman, Morgan Ortagus, said the U.S. was determined to axe individuals who tried to undermine the electoral process last March.

“These individuals have operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and undermined democratic principles and human rights,” Ms Ortagus said then,

However, The NGF in a statement Saturday night signed by Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, Head Media and Public Affairs to Mr Fayemi, said the governor’s visa application was not denied.

He said: “Governor Fayemi, like every other Nigerian citizen intending to visit the US, applied for a visa, attended his interview and was requested to pay the statutory visa acceptance fee by the US Consulate.”

“Anyone conversant with US Visa application procedure knows that applicants are now routinely taken through administrative processing before visas are issued.”

“When the American Embassy indicated that the visa may not be ready by Friday, 8th November, Dr Fayemi retrieved his passport because of a crucial speaking engagement at the AfDB Africa Investment Forum in South Africa on Monday, 11th November 2019.

“It is imperative to mention here that the NGF Chairman, Dr John Kayode Fayemi, only just returned from the United States where he attended the United Nation’s General Assembly where the NGF organized a high-level side meeting on the 27th of September 2019,” he added.

Below is the full statement by Mr Bello-Barkindo.

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum wishes to correct the mischievous report of 247Ureport on the United States’ visa application of its Chairman and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr John Kayode Fayemi.

Governor Fayemi, like every other Nigerian citizen intending to visit the US, applied for a visa, attended his interview and was requested to pay the statutory visa acceptance fee by the US Consulate.

The Governor’s visa application was not denied.

Anyone conversant with US Visa application procedure knows that applicants are now routinely taken through administrative processing before visas are issued.

When the American Embassy indicated that the visa may not be ready by Friday, 8th November, Dr Fayemi retrieved his passport because of a crucial speaking engagement at the AfDB Africa Investment Forum in South Africa on Monday, 11th November 2019.

It is imperative to mention here that the NGF Chairman, Dr John Kayode Fayemi, only just returned from the United States where he attended the United Nation’s General Assembly where the NGF organized a high-level side meeting on the 27th of September 2019.

It is also important, at this juncture, to caution journalists on the rush to print, as blatant mischief, laden with glaring untruths as contained in the 247Ureports narrative, can drag the journalism profession to disrepute. Knowing Dr Fayemi, it is virtually impossible to associate him with the uncouth behavior that 247Ureports dramatized.

Meanwhile, the trip to the United States is at the instance of the Dangote Foundation in concert with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and it is on course.

The Aliko Dangote Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have partnered for years on several global health and development initiatives in Nigeria. In partnership with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, the two foundations are hosting a group of executive governors in Seattle to discuss how to expand support of routine immunization and polio eradication efforts to help strengthen Nigeria’s primary health care system and the Human Capital Development agenda.

The visit will foster a deeper understanding of the State Government’s development priorities within the context of the Human Capital Development framework and harvest perspectives to better inform joint strategies for greater impact and progress in meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo

Head, Media and Public Affairs

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