The United States Government has imposed visa restrictions on Nigerian Politicians who participated in the militarisation and rigging of Governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States.
According to the US Department of State, the move was made as a deterrent to other Nigerian politicians seeking to undermine the credibility of the upcoming Governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States.
It said further that the restrictions are directed at specific individuals undermining democracy in Nigeria and not at the Nigerian people.
The spokesperson for the Department of State, Morgan Ortagus who refused to name the targeted Nigerian Politicians said on Monday;
“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.
“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 further encouraged Nigerian politicians and every other stakeholder involved in the upcoming elections to play by the rules and avoid violence.
“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”.