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And What’s So Special About Switzerland, Anyway?, By Hassan Gimba: Reader’s Comments

When on 16/10/2022 I wrote about what happened to me and some World Cancer Congress delegates that were denied visas by the Switzerland Embassy in  Abuja, Nigeria, the embassy the next day requested six of us, including Dr Alhassan Adamu, the president of the Nigerian Cancer Society, to return “for an extraordinary interview” so as to be granted visa.

I refused to return, even though the other five went. Unfortunately, they remained in front of the embassy from 12pm till 4pm with no one casting a glance at them, not to talk of letting them in for the so-called extraordinary interview. Such humiliation.

And so, as we do from time to time, today is for our readers’ responses to my article entitled “And what’s so special about Switzerland, anyway?”

It’s unfortunate but both our people and Government don’t help matters. There’s nothing special in their country to warrant denial of visa to our citizens. Personally, I see no reason to travel outside the country even on holidays or official purposes.

Mohammed Abacha

Very sad commentary on how the so called ‘civilised, developed countries’ look down and treat Nigerians and indeed Africans with disdain. Anyway I don’t blame them, it’s the way our leaders and other citizens worship them and portray us as crooks and beggars bereft of any sense of dignity and responsibility. It’s sad. It’s sad and irresponsible of the embassy to treat you in such a manner.

Mustapha Bashir

I love this, sir. If our leaders had done the right thing we wouldn’t be facing such ignominy.

AbdulLahi Jalo

Sorry Gimba for your bad experience at the hands of the embassy staff.

Shehu Muhammad Gana

What a well-crafted article. Need to print this and attach to the letters I will write to UICC, Embassy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Dr Alhassan Adamu

President, Nigerian Cancer Society.

I believe that in the future, Africa will overtake the European World. No doubt they took advantage of our naivety and stole from us but we are taking back what belongs to us. Nature will turn things around by itself.

Esther Onuigbo

I just found time to read your article on Switzerland, a wolfish country wearing a sheep’s cloth. I am very happy you did not leave the injustice meted to you and your colleagues to go away. What you did is in tandem with a popular Kanuri saying that “eye is crying for others what more for itself.”

Babagoni Mustapha

I am on the same page with you on the issue of what is so special about travelling to Switzerland? I told you I can never leave this country for anywhere in the world, no matter the attractions. Nigeria is my home, I can never be a slave to anyone.

Musa A. Yusuf

Having been informed adequately from this publication, indeed there is nothing special about Switzerland.

Abubakar Ibrahim

Salam, Editor. I saw this in a chat group. I am very pleased with the tone of your presentation. These guys are complete idiots who feel entitled to humiliate and dehumanise us. If we hit them the way you did, perhaps they will come back to their senses and treat us better. I cherish Nigeria and place it over and above any other country. Absolutely nothing special about those who erroneously feel their lands are the ultimate. A great piece that has my total support.

Suleiman Uba Gaya

This is a powerful piece. It can be very annoying. I can imagine what you are saying because a few years back I had a similar experience in the Embassy of the United States of America. Sometimes through these experiences you get to appreciate the level of damage our political leaders have inflicted on this country because it’s one of the reasons some of these people have the courage to treat Nigerians as though each Nigerian they see applying for a visa is a refugee fleeing economic hardship from Nigeria to their so-called paradise. Don’t worry yourself too much about it, in our Bible it’s written that all things work together for good for those who love God. You may have spent money on flight tickets and all the stress but God knows best.

Elias Ogbole

So I read through, and there is nothing special about Switzerland anyway.

Fa’izatu Aliyu Doma

The 21st century modern slavery is anchored by the likes of Switzerland and France…huh!!

Dr Fatima Sule

I sympathize with you and your team sir, over this dehumanizing treatment by those bigots.

Dr Adamkolo Mohammed

So disheartening, that’s how Nigerians are being treated. May God save us.

Victoria Kitchener

Peace be on you, my brother, I’m only surprised you didn’t expect that rude behaviour from them. It’s the same with the entire West even as I believe you’ve travelled to many other western countries. Sadly, Nigerians made them that arrogant. I’ve seen people rolling on the ground and wailing because they’ve been denied visas. Some dramas are worse. Hence those countries feel too relevant in the lives of every Nigerian. It’s great that you wrote, even though conscience has long migrated from the souls of those countries. I hope we will commit ourselves to making our country great and then set in motion to seek for the return of our stolen wealth; not ‘grants’ and hand-outs.

Shettima Ali 

Wow! I must commend you for expressing yourself without mincing words. It is unfortunate the stress we go through to travel abroad; they don’t want us in their country, but they take our money. If they reject people visa, they should refund the money as well. The point is, we’re publicly announced to be independent nations, but these guys still see and treat us as slaves. I blame this on the leadership of Africa anyway.

Kaltumi Abdulazeez

How I wish all Nigerians will henceforth treat visa issues to any country in the manner you did. Dr. I’m proud of you. I would share this article as widely as possible.

Dr Aminu Yakiduma 

Very good and informative. The Swiss are the greatest robbers of the third world resources. Close all foreign (African leaders ) accounts in the Swiss banking system, the country would become a third world member.

Yakubu Abdullahi

If Nigeria is a serious country, no one would deny you a visa. We are not serious.

George Onmonya

One thing comes to mind; a country that is doomed. A country that sees things from the angle of evil being good and good being evil. It is in fact an irony that a country that kills is also hosting a program that is meant to save lives. I think this is what is special about Switzerland.

Amina AbdulLahi

What do they think about themselves? One isn’t going to heaven by going to their country. I blame our fellow countrymen who act with low self-esteem as if others are doing them a favour during interrogation. I like that you wrote about your experience. We will see how the embassy and the people of Switzerland will receive it. Keep up the good work with the foundation and may Allah grant your late wife paradise.

Awwal Ibrahim Ndayako

That’s why I don’t bother myself about going on a so-called vacation or any visit abroad. I would rather go to my wonderful town of Potiskum or Yankari Game Reserve to enjoy my holiday. The only time I traveled abroad was for religious obligation

Sani Lawal

What’s so special about Switzerland?

Majarrad Mujrad

The reason why Switzerland became the financial crimes center of the world is because of their 1934 banking law which makes it a criminal act for a Swiss bank to reveal the name of an account holder.

Even America accuses Swiss banks of still holding billions of dollars’ worth of deposits in so-called ‘dormant’ accounts.

Ex-UBS banker, Bradley Birkenfeld said that major Swiss banks had helped Americans hide up to $20 billion in order to avoid taxes. If it wasn’t for the invitation, I know a highly regarded person with integrity like HassanGimba would not waste his time traveling to Switzerland.

Musa Bukar Musa

It was disappointing, to say the least. I pray that your non-attendance to the event is for good. Also, may the good works your foundation is doing be expanded to the length and breadth of Nigeria and even beyond. May she rest in perfect peace.

Dr Ukasha Ismail

It is indeed unfortunate that the opportunity to expand and network your noble initiative is being denied because of visa denial. Honestly, I blame African leaders for allowing us to be treated like animals in our country. One prominent personality was going to India and was treated in a similar way. The person was furious and called me to focus our spotlight on the embassies in Nigeria and the way Nigerians are being treated. If we do, our Ministry of Foreign Affairs may formulate a policy to checkmate this type of treatment. Many of us don’t like traveling out of the country, not to talk of staying there. Like you, I have no country like Nigeria; I was born here and wish to die here. I am very proud to be a Nigerian. However, this underserved treatment should not discourage you, use all the possible communication avenues to network and strengthen your foundation. It is just a hiccup but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Can you launch investigative journalism to expose the happenings in these embassies? I will be part of your team because only a few Nigerians are going out to tarnish the image of Nigeria, and the overwhelming number of Nigerians goes out for good cause. This experience is only teaching you more about Nigeria and the so-called developed nations and their disdain for the Africans. This is my take.

Professor Mohammed Khalid

What a beautiful write up…I just got more insight from you about the country called Switzerland…but the ending is really pathetic, it’s just the way we Nigerians have been placed in countries all over the world, and really of a truth they need our money to develop their countries but they don’t need the people to come in. Leadership has really failed and insulted us citizens of Nigerians all over the world. Even in African countries in our backyard, in Ghana, for  example, Nigerians are being treated anyhow too… It’s a pity.

Felicia Igbe Scheneider

I am impressed with this write up as it is a wakeup call to those who have enslaved themselves consciously or unconsciously with the idea of looking at these countries as havens of salvation.

Ibrahim Maina

 Oh my GOD! What an ordeal! Anyway, this is a masterpiece: a bold, clear, and emphatic statement! I hope the western media grapples with its message.  Well done, sir! I am sharing in my networks. Great! Have followed it and the video is trending on my LinkedIn profile.  You remain a great inspiration to most of us for what you are doing. I love your articles. I celebrate great minds, and, in all ways, you represent that to me. Please continue.

Dr Ekpa

 Sir, that shabby treatment by the Swiss Embassy capped by the non-issuance of travel visa to you is quite unfortunate. I wonder why the westerners almost always look down on us (Africans) after deliberately impoverishing us as you succinctly narrated in your rich write up. Honestly, what’s exactly so special about Switzerland, anyway?

Hassan Garga

Hassan Gimba is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Neptune Prime.

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