US Imposes Visa Ban on Some Nigerians over Electoral Misconduct

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The United States has announced the imposition of a visa ban on some Nigerians for their actions during the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa state elections.

The Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo also imposed the visa restriction on these individuals due to their conduct in the run-up to the poll in Edo and Ondo States scheduled for September 19 and October 10, 2020 respectively.

This was announced in a statement signed by the spokesperson for the Department of State, Morgan Ortagus, on Monday.

Although the identities of the individuals were not revealed, the US government said the decision to sanction the persons involved shows its commitment to strengthening democracy in Nigeria.

It accused the unnamed persons of operating with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and undermining democratic principles.

“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,” it said.

US government added that the sanction which it said was directed at certain individuals and not against Nigerian people “reflects the Department of State’s commitment to working with the Nigerian government to realise its expressed commitment to end corruption and strengthen democracy, accountability, and respect for human rights.”

Ahead of the Edo and Ondo gubernatorial elections, it called on all stakeholders to “uphold the tenets of democracy and facilitate genuinely free and fair elections, conducted in an appropriately transparent and non-violent manner.”

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