The US says it has imposed visa restrictions on some Nigerians for their actions in the 2019 polls in Kogi and Bayelsa and actions in the runup to voting this year in Ondo and Edo.
A statement from the Department of State signed by Morgan Ortagus on Monday did not name the individuals but said they had “so far operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and have undermined democratic principles.”
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“In July 2019, we announced the imposition of visa restrictions on Nigerians who undermined the February and March 2019 elections,” said the statement.
“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 Department of State emphasises 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 realise its expressed commitment to end corruption and strengthen democracy, accountability, and respect for human rights,” the statement read.
“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 statement said.