US Imposes Visa Ban On Nigerians Who Undermined 2023 Elections
The United States (US) on Monday imposed visa bans on those who undermined the democratic process during the recently held general elections in Nigeria, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed, reported Reuters.
“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,” Secretary of State Binken noted in a statement posted on the US State Department website.
He added that Washington has taken the decision as it remains committed to supporting and advancing democracy in Nigeria and other countries around the world. He clarified that the visa ban is specific to only some individuals and is not directed at the Nigerian people or the Nigerian government as a whole.
According to the statement, under US Immigration and Nationality Act, these individuals will be subject to restrictions on visas to the US under a policy covering those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy.
Mr. Blinken said the individuals facing visa ban have been found to be involved in the intimidation of voters through threats and physical violence, the manipulation of vote results, and other activity that undermines Nigeria’s democratic process.
The US Secretary of State, however, did not specify the names of the individuals who will be victims of the visa bans.
Nigeria’s most recently held presidential elections on February 25 were marred with a number of irregularities including pockets of violence. The election results declared Bola Tinubu as the president-elect. He received 37% or nearly 8.8 million of the votes. He will be sworn in on 29 May although his two main opponents are challenging his election in court. They had called for the presidential election to be canceled and rerun.
Nigerian authorities are yet to react to the news of the US visa ban.