The United States of America has imposed visa ban on Nigerians, who it claimed undermined the conducts of the November 2019 governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States.
This move is in the run-up to the September and October 2020 governorship polls in Edo and Ondo respectively.
The spokesperson for the Department of State, Morgan Ortagus who disclosed this in a statement on Monday said the ban was in furtherance of its commitment to strengthening democracy in Nigeria.
She reiterated the United States commitment to working with the Nigerian government to strengthen democratic institutions and processes adding that Nigerians deserve free, fair, transparent & peaceful elections.
“In July 2019, we announced the imposition of visa restrictions on Nigerians who undermined the February and March 2019 elections.
“Today, the Secretary of State is imposing additional visa restrictions on individuals for their actions surrounding the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa State elections and in the run up to the September and October 2020 Edo and Ondo State elections,” the statement read in part.
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It added that these individuals whose identities were not revealed, “operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and have undermined democratic principles.”
“The Department of State emphasizes that the actions announced today are specific to certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people. This decision reflects the Department of State’s commitment to working with the Nigerian government to realize its expressed commitment to end corruption and strengthen democracy, accountability, and respect for human rights.”
While condemning the acts of violence, intimidation, or corruption that harmed Nigerians and undermined the democratic process,the statement “urged all Stakeholders in Edo and Ondo elections to uphold the tenets of democracy and facilitate genuinely free and fair elections, conducted in an appropriately transparent and non-violent manner”.