The United States has announced that it has taken steps to impose visa ban on persons who disrupted the last general election in Nigeria.
In a statement on the US State Department website, Secretary of State Antony Binken said “the United States is committed to supporting and advancing democracy in Nigeria and around the world. 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.”
The Secretary of State explained that the new visa ban was specific to certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people or the Government of Nigeria as a whole.
According to the statement, these individuals, under US Immigration and Nationality Act, will be subject to restrictions on visas to the United States under a policy covering those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy.
According to Blinken, “These individuals have been involved in intimidation of voters through threats and physical violence, the manipulation of vote results, and other activity that undermines Nigeria’s democratic process.”
The Secretary of State disclosed that the decision to take steps to impose visa restrictions, reflects the continued commitment of the United States to support Nigerian aspirations to strengthen democracy and the rule of law.
There have been many outcries about violence and intimidation during the last general election in the country with many public figures caught on camera to have issues threats on specified voters. However, the US did not name the Nigerians affected by the latest visa ban.