US Imposes Visa Restrictions On Election Riggers In Kogi, Bayelsa, Ondo, Edo

US Insists February And March 2019 Elections In Nigeria, Undermined

The United States Government has imposed visa ban on certain Nigerians for undermining elections in Kogi, Bayelsa states as well as the “run up to the September and October 2020 Edo and Ondo State elections.”

This was contained in a statement on Monday, by the United States Department of States Spokesperson, Morgan Ortagus.

“In a statement on January 24, 2019, the U.S. Government said we would consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for individuals responsible for undermining the Nigerian democratic process or for organizing election-related violence.

“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.

“These individuals have so far operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and have undermined democratic principles,” she stated.

She also stressed that the US backed the consolidation of democratic principles in Nigeria.

She held that Nigerians who participated during the 2019 elections were key players in strengthening the nation’s democracy.

Meanwhile, she recommended that during the forthcoming Edo and Ondo elections, residents should remain law abiding as they go out to vote.

The statement partly reads:

“The United States is a steadfast supporter of Nigerian democracy. We commend all those Nigerians who participated in elections throughout 2019 and have worked to strengthen Nigerian democratic institutions and processes.

” We remain committed to working together to advance democracy and respect for human rights and achieve greater peace and prosperity for both our nations.

“We condemn the acts of violence, intimidation, or corruption that harmed Nigerians and undermined the democratic process.

“As the Edo and Ondo State off-cycle elections near, we urge all stakeholders, including the Independent National Electoral Commission, the political parties, and the security services, to uphold the tenets of democracy and facilitate genuinely free and fair elections, conducted in an appropriately transparent and non-violent manner.

“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.”

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