A visa ban has been imposed by the United States on Monday to all those who disrupted the 2023 general elections in Nigeria.
This announcement was made by Secretary of State, Antony Blinken in the US State Department website.
He clarified that the visa ban is specific to certain individuals and is not directed at the Nigerian people or the Government of Nigeria as a whole. He however mentioned no name.
He said, “the United States is committed to supporting and advancing democracy in Nigeria and around the world. Today, I am announcing that we have taken steps to impose visa restrictions on specific individuals in Nigeria for undermining the democratic process during Nigeria’s 2023 elections cycle.”
According to the statement, these individuals, under US Immigration and Nationality Act, will be subject to restrictions on visas to the United States under a policy covering those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy.
“These individuals have been involved in intimidation of voters through threats and physical violence, the manipulation of vote results, and other activity that undermines Nigeria’s democratic process,” Mr Blinken said.
The decision to take steps to impose visa restrictions, he said, reflects the continued commitment of the United States to support Nigerian aspirations to strengthen democracy and the rule of law.
However, the US did not name the Nigerians affected by the latest visa ban although some Nigerians including controversial Lagos bus transport chief, Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo, were caught on video threatening potential voters.
Nigeria’s 2023 elections were held on 25 February and 18 March for federal and state elections respectively. The process was said to have been fraught with a number of irregularities including pockets of violence in different parts of the country.Follow us on social media