Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party, has backed the American visa restriction on alleged poll riggers in Nigeria.
According to ANAEDOONLINE.NG, several Nigerians suspected of undermining democracy were subject to visa restrictions by the US. It is noted that this was done as part of efforts to promote democracy and combat corruption in Nigeria.
The sanctioned persons, whose identities the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, did not give, would not be eligible for the US visa, according to the statement he made on Wednesday.
The senior diplomat also mentioned that the similar ban might apply to some of the individuals’ family members who are prohibited from entering the US.
He stated, ”We are committed to supporting and advancing democracy in Nigeria and around the world. Today, I am announcing visa restrictions on specific individuals in Nigeria for undermining the democratic process in a recent Nigerian election.
‘’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.
‘’Certain family members of such persons may also be subject to these restrictions. 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 under this policy.’’
Blinken clarified that the visa restriction was not targeted at the Nigerian people or the government.
But reacting to the ban via his Twitter handle on Wednesday, Atiku urged other “established democracies” to join the US in placing a visa ban on election riggers in Nigeria.
“I welcome the United States visa ban on anti-democratic elements whose actions seek to undermine the 2023 elections in Nigeria.
“I encourage other established democracies to follow suit to ensure that there’s no hiding place for the enemies of our democracy,” the former vice president wrote.
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