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Wole Soyinka condemns ‘special permission’ required to enter Nigeria

Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka on Thursday decried the immigration processes required to enter Nigeria from Europe.

The literary icon, during a press briefing in Lagos, said he was stopped from boarding a flight at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris because he didn’t have a special document.

“I had my vaccination, I have taken the 72-hour Covid test, I was negative but there was one more, there was a new one called PCR which the Nigerian government had begun to insist on,” he said.

He was also asked to fill a questionnaire which he said bore little relation to COVID-19.

Soyinka said the tedious process had led to many Nigerians “lying in couches” at the airport, unable to proceed with their journey into Nigeria.

“I don’t believe that I should require – or any Nigerian should require – a special permission to enter his or her own country,” he said.

“What the majority of those questions have to do with Covid, I don’t understand; six Air France staff were working on various computers to generate this permit for which payment are being made.

“Nobody is saying we shouldn’t take the necessary precautions. Other nations do it, but I don’t believe that other nationals are obstructed the way we are.

“It is not a pleasant sight to see your fellow Nigerians lying on couches – they can’t go in, they can’t go out; they are trapped in limbo.

“So, whoever is responsible for these ones should sit and design something easier for humanity to fulfill and also to have backup situations; when technology breaks down, human intelligence should come to the rescue.”

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