Sadly not many people know the true story behind the lighting up of the Burj Khalifa by UAE to celebrate Nigeria’s independence.
For the sake of one criminal and a few miscreants the UAE made that move unilaterally to discriminate against all Nigerians without consulting with the Nigerian government or considering diplomatic impact. There were also reports of Nigerians being maltreated in the UAE.
After lockdowns ended and flight resumed, the UAE reopened its borders to other countries but maintained the visa ban on Nigerians and said nothing about the maltreatment of Nigerians in the UAE during the covid lockdown period.
The Nigerian government (much to my surprise) refused to take that insult sitting down. The typically redundant government swung into action and issued an immediate ban on all Emirates flight from Nigeria (which happens to be the 3rd biggest revenue stream for Emirates airlines)
From the 23rd of September the Nigerian government refused to allow any Emirates plane touch Nigerian soil and banned flights from many other country’s airlines who do not regard Nigerians with thesame courtesy that we regard them.
7 days later, the UAE reversed the Visa ban and yesterday announced that they will now allow Nigerians visa access to UAE in the hopes that Nigeria restores Emirates flights. The lighting of Burj Khlaifa was a symbol of goodwill to appease Nigeria.
Im not often proud of the Nigerian government. But on this one, I say kudos. That’s the story behind the lighting of the Burj Khalifa.
Happy Independence Nigeria.