US imposes visa ban on Nigerians sabotaging democracy
The United States says it has imposed visa ban on certain individuals in Nigeria for “undermining democracy” in the country.
Anthony Blinken, US Secretary of State, said in a statement on Wednesday, that the actions were taken after it was observed that some persons were found complicit in undermining democracy in Nigeria.
The most recent elections in Nigeria were the Ekiti and Osun governorship polls.
Blinken said the bans were a show of commitment and support to strengthening democracy in Nigeria.
“Today, I am announcing visa restrictions on specific individuals in Nigeria for undermining the democratic process in a recent Nigerian election,” the statement reads.
“Under Section 212(a)(3)C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, these individuals will be found ineligible for visas to the United States under a policy to restrict visas of those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria.”
The ban may also affect certain family members of the affected individuals.
The US Secretary of State also said the restrictions were not targeted at the general populace of the country or the government, but that it was aimed at curbing corruption.
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“The visa restrictions announced today are specific to certain individuals and are not directed at the Nigerian people or the Government of Nigeria,” the statement reads.
“The decision to impose visa restrictions reflects the commitment of the United States to support Nigerian aspirations to combat corruption and strengthen democracy and the rule of law.
“Additional persons who undermine the democratic process in Nigeria—including in the lead-up to, during, and following Nigeria’s 2023 elections—may be found ineligible for U.S. visas.”