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2019 Election: US Impose Visa Restrictions On Nigerians Responsible For Undermining Democratic Process

•El-Rufai, Amaechi, Burata, MC Oluomo may be affected

•Says Nigerians not targeted

Senator Iroegbu

The United States Department of State has imposed visa restrictions on Nigerians responsible for undermining the democratic processes in the country, especially before, during and after the 2019 general elections.

Some of those suspected to have been affected by the new travel ban include the Governor of Kaduna State, who threatened to send foreigners or foreign observers “back in body bags”, and the former Minister of Transport, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi who was widely reported to have been denied Visa recently by the US Embassy in Nigeria as well as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai over the role of the Army during the elections, especially in Rivers State.

Sources also told Global Sentinel that the new rule affected many individuals who served in the government and some elected officials too.

“The visa restrictions may affect people like Amaechi, Akpabio, Buratai, El Rufai, Ganduje, Oluomo, likely but it says not directed at Nigerian people or new government,” the source clarified.

This was contained in a statement on Tuesday, signed by the Department of State Spokesperson, Ms. Morgan Ortagus, condemning those whose acts of violence, intimidation, or corruption harmed Nigerians or undermined the democratic process.

Ortagus who also announced this in her Twitter account, reminded that in January 24, 2019, the US government had warned that it would “consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for individuals responsible for undermining the Nigerian democratic process or for organizing election-related violence”.

To that end, she said, the Secretary of State is imposing visa restrictions on Nigerians believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria.

According to her, “these individuals have operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and undermined democratic principles and human rights”.

The Department of State Spokesperson, however stressed that the actions announced on Tuesday were “specific to certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people or the newly elected government.

“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.”

Read full statement

Imposing Visa Restrictions on Nigerians Responsible for Undermining the Democratic Process

PRESS STATEMENT

MORGAN ORTAGUS, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON

The United States is a steadfast supporter of Nigerian democracy. We commend all those Nigerians who participated peacefully in the February and March 2019 elections and have worked to strengthen Nigerian democratic institutions and processes. As Nigeria marks the twentieth anniversary of a return to democratic rule this year, we remain committed to working together to continue to advance democracy and respect for human rights and achieve greater peace and prosperity for both our nations. We condemn those whose acts of violence, intimidation, or corruption harmed Nigerians or undermined the democratic process.

In a January 24 statement, the U.S. government said that we would consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for individuals responsible for undermining the Nigerian democratic process or for organizing election-related violence. To that end, the Secretary of State is imposing visa restrictions on Nigerians believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria. These individuals have operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and undermined democratic principles and human rights.

The Department of State emphasizes that the actions announced today are specific to certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people or the newly elected government. 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.

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