Nigeria May Be Part Of Trump’s Travel Ban, But Nigerians Tend To Trust Trump
February 11, 20204:24 PM ET
NPR’s Audie Cornish talks with Nigerian writer Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani …
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Immigrants from Africa’s most populous country will be blocked from coming to the U.S. beginning later this month. The Trump administration is denying immigrant visas to Nigerians as part of an expanded travel ban. …
NWAUBANI: … The original impression we had and most people had was that our country was put on the travel ban list because of issues with security. Maybe the citizens – there was some suspicion regarding Nigerian citizens. But it turned out that it had nothing to do with that. It was simply a punishment to sort of light a fire under the butt of our government because for more than a year, the United States government has been trying to get the Nigerian government to upgrade information-sharing procedures, and our government has been lethargic about it. So the United States government came up with this plan to ban immigrants and then to put us on the travel ban list. And it’s worked because our government has gone into action to upgrade the information-sharing procedure. So it’s a punishment that has yielded some result.
CORNISH: You say Nigerians are unfazed by comments or policies that American critics might consider racist from the president. How do people hear it differently?
NWAUBANI: Well, the point to note is that the data the Pew Research Center has pulled year after year – and it’s been consistent – Nigerians love Trump. His approval ratings here are high. It’s been like that throughout his presidency. And the most recent polls in January show that almost 6 out of 10 Nigerians approve of what he’s doing and believe he’ll do the right thing. So that is it. Nigerians like Trump.
Usually, when he makes the comments that people in the U.S. regard as racist or whatever, in this part of the world, people tend to agree with him because we think, well, we know these things he’s saying are things that everybody else is thinking. We’re not under any illusion that any country in the world wants to welcome African immigrants with wide-open arms. No Nigerian I know of is under that illusion. No European country is eager to welcome African immigrants. … Immigrants are beautiful people. They do all sorts of wonderful things. But I don’t think that there are many people sitting down and desiring that their countries are flooded with immigrants. So President Trump is saying, we don’t want more immigrants from this part of the world. Nigerians don’t hold it against him because the impression is that, well, he’s saying what everybody else thinks but just doesn’t say.