The United States has announced it has taken steps to impose visa restrictions on specific individuals in Nigeria for undermining the democratic process during that country’s 2023 elections cycle.
The move, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, is in support of and advancing democracy in Nigeria and around the world.
But Blinken’s statement didn’t immediately identify the individuals targeted and comes just two weeks ahead of the inauguration of president-elect Bola Tinubu amid continued court challenges to his victory.
Blinken says the actions are specific to certain individuals and are not directed at the Nigerian people or the government as a whole.
He says the individuals would 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.
The US says these individuals, as yet unnamed, 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.
Blinken adds that the move reflected the continued commitment of the United States to support Nigerian’s aspirations to strengthen democracy and the rule of law.
A March 1st statement from a State Department Spokesperson congratulated the people of Nigeria and the president-elect Tinubu of the ruling “All Progressives Congress” party following the declaration of results by Nigeria’s Independent Electoral Commission in late February.
That statement also noted the frustration expressed by some parties about the manner in which the process was conducted in addition to technical shortcomings, while encouraging any candidate or party seeking to challenge the outcome of the election, to pursue redress through well-established electoral dispute mechanisms.
Those disputes are currently being ventilated in Nigerian courts.
Details in the report below:
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