U.S. Imposes Visa Ban On Nigerians Accused Of Rigging Polls

U.S. President Donald Trump [Photo/Courtesy]

The US government has announced that it’s imposing visa restrictions on Nigerian leaders involved in undermining democracy during the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa states elections and in the run-up to the September and October 2020 Edo and Ondo states elections.

In a statement on Monday, September 14, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said the individuals operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and have undermined democratic principles.

“The Department of State emphasizes that the actions announced today are specific to certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people,” the statement reads.

“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.”

Read: American Tech Giants Challenge U.S. Foreign Workers’ Visa Ban

The Donald Trump Administration did not, however, name leaders affected by the latest sanctions.

Early last year, US said it would consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for individuals responsible for undermining the Nigerian democratic process or for organizing election-related violence.

In July the same year, the US made good of its threat and imposed a visa ban on Nigerians who it accused of undermining the February and March 2019 elections.

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“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,” US said in the Monday statement.

The Edo and Ondo governorship polls are scheduled for September 19 and October 10.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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