‘Additional visa restrictions await perpetrators of electoral malpractice,’ US warns

…places perpetrators in Kogi, Bayelsa, Edo, Ondo states on watch list

By Chioma Obinagwam

The United States (U.S) has said it will not hesitate to impose visa ban on more individuals who undermine democratic process.

Morgan Ortagus, spokesperson for the U.S Department of State disclosed in a statement on Monday in honour of the 2020 International Day of Democracy.

According to the statement sighted by Confiance News, individuals involved in the electoral malpractice of the November 2019 elections are not spared and those hoping to indulge in the act in the forthcoming elections in Edo and Ondo states will be added to the list.

Morgan Ortagus, spokesperson for the United States Department of State. Photo: Twitter

“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,” she noted.

She added that the individuals have so far operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and have undermined democratic principles.

Confiance News recalls that “in a statement on January 24, 2019, the U.S. Government said we would consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for individuals responsible for undermining the Nigerian democratic process or for organizing election-related violence.”

“The Department of State emphasizes 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 realize its expressed commitment to end corruption and strengthen democracy, accountability, and respect for human rights,” she pointed.

Meanwhile, United Nations (UN) Secretary General, António Guterres, stated in an article commemorating the 2020 United Nations (UN) Secretary General, António Guterres, that “the International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world.”

The International Day of Democracy is celebrated on 15th of September every year, since 2008.

 

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