It’s disrespectful – FG blows hot as US, UK impose Visa ban on Election Riggers
Federal Government has reacted to the visa ban imposed by United States and United Kingdom on election riggers in Nigeria.
US govt on Wednesday placed a visa ban on some Politicians involved in Bayelsa and Kogi election which were married with violence and rigging.
Reacting to the development, Ferdinand Nwonye, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs blasted the US and UK government for disrespecting Nigeria’s sovereignty with such punitive measures.
He said as much as the support of the foreign nations towards peaceful elections is appreciated, it was unfair to impose sanctions on the nation’s politicians, noting that the constitution had provisions for perpetrators of election violence.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to state that the Nigerian government has taken note of the concerns of some of our partners, especially the U.S. and UK governments regarding the elections in Edo and Ondo States,” it read.
“They have also expressed their intentions to take punitive measures against those who decide to, in what they termed as, undermine democracy.
“It is important to highlight that the responsibility for the conduct of elections in Nigeria solely resides with the Independent National Electoral Commission and State Independent Electoral Commissions.
“The Federal Government, and especially the President, is committed to providing all necessary logistic, financial and security support to the electoral process.
“The President has continually urged all parties and contestants to peacefully conduct themselves before, during and after the elections, and supported patriotic non-governmental initiatives such as the Abdusalami Abubakar-led Peace Committee.
“Furthermore, it should be noted that there are ample provisions in our laws to sanction violators and perpetrators of electoral violence and fraud.
“It would be considered disrespectful of the sovereignty of Nigeria for any outside authority to sit in judgment over the conduct of our citizens and apply punitive measures such as visa restriction, unilaterally.
“While we appreciate the support and encouragement of our international partners such as the EU, we urge our equally valued partners such as the UK and U.S. to cooperate with our relevant agencies.”
In the same vein, Kogi state Governor, Yahaya Bello rejected the visa ban in a statement on Friday.