The United States of America has imposed visa restrictions on some Nigerians for their actions during the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa State elections; and the forthcoming Edo and Ondo State governorship elections.
The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, imposed the visa restriction on the individuals due to their conduct in the run up to the polls for the Edo and Ondo state elections.
Read the statement signed by the spokesman for the Department of State, Morgan Ortagus, 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 states’ 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 read.
The USA noted that it remained committed to strengthening the Nigerian democratic institutions and processes.
The statement further commended all Nigerians who participated in the elections throughout 2019 and condemned the acts of violence, intimidation or corruption that harmed Nigerians and undermined the democratic process.
“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,” the US stated.
Ogbodo ThankGod is currently the Managing Director/CEO/Group Chief Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He was the Chief Editor at NaijaBuzz.News before his new top leadership role. Ogbodo has years of experience in the Nigeria Media Industry and has co-founded some media companies. He is the founder of Ogbodo Solution Nigeria and 1Push.Ng. He loves playing football and is a strong supporter of Lionel Messi who he describes as the greatest footballer of all time.