THE United States (US) has imposed visa ban on individuals that undermined the just concluded general elections in Nigeria.
The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, made this known in a statement on Monday, May 15.
The statement did not disclose details of those affected by the visa ban.
However, Blinken said the ban was imposed on specific individuals in Nigeria for undermining the democratic process during the country’s 2023 elections cycle.
He noted that the visa ban was not directed at the Nigerian people or the government as a whole.
“Under Section 212(a)(3)C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, these individuals 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,” he said.
“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 statement indicated that these individuals have been involved in intimidation of voters through threats and physical violence, manipulation of vote results, and other activities that undermine Nigeria’s democratic process.”
Blinken said that the decision to impose visa restrictions reflects the continued commitment of the US to support Nigeria’s aspirations to strengthen democracy and the rule of law.
Violence marred the 2033 general elections and some Nigerians, including Lagos bus transport manager, Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo, were caught on video threatening potential voters.
The majority leader of the House of Representatives, Alhassan Doguwa, has been charged for murder after the police in Kano arrested him, alongside others, for alleged criminal conspiracy, and culpable homicide during the election.
He allegedly shot some persons dead and ordered the burning of a New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) office during the election.
Nigeria held federal and state elections on 25 February and 18 March, respectively. The process was fraught with a number of irregularities, including pockets of violence in different parts of the country, according several reports by election monitoring bodies like the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU OM).
The presidential election, held on 25 February, produced Bola Tinubu as president-elect.
He will be sworn in on 29 May, although his two main opponents are challenging his election in court.