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Nigeria Today

Which of two wrongs is right?

security

Some two weeks ago, the United States Embassy in Abuja announced an increased visa fee to be paid by Nigerians wishing to travel to that country. Considering that the old fee was already quite high for an average traveller, some commentators, fiercely criticised the Embassy for the development. Many were shocked to later learn that the Americans were merely retaliating the posture of Nigeria in fixing same high figure for Americans seeking to obtain Nigerian visas. Indeed, the US Embassy appropriately blamed the Nigerian government when it disclosed the pains it had taken severally to ask Nigeria to reduce its own fee. The US could not be said to be wrong because international diplomacy is premised on the principle of reciprocity, known in Nigerian parlance as ‘You do me, I do you.’ If so, it means every country is entitled to retaliating any policy towards her by another country. This policy of equality was what first occurred to me when media reports from Johannesburg, confirmed the killing of Nigerians in South Africa. All over Nigeria, the subject was the matter of the moment, provoking heated debate here and there.

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