- The US has imposed a visa ban on Kogi and Bayelsa election riggers
- Morgan Ortagus, the Department of State, made this known on Monday, September 14
- Ortagus said the US government had in July 2019, announced the imposition of visa restrictions on Nigerians over the 2019 governorship elections
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In a dramatic twist and what is considered as a way to checkmate rigging in the forthcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states, the government of the United States said it has imposed a visa restriction on some persons for their actions during the conduct of the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa state elections.
The Nation reports that said a spokesperson for the Department of State, Morgan Ortagus, made the disclosure in a statement on Monday, September 14.
Legit.ng gathered that Ortagus said the US government had in July 2019, announced the imposition of visa restrictions on Nigerians who undermined the February and March 2019 elections.
The statement read: “In July 2019, we announced the imposition of visa restrictions on Nigerians who undermined the February and March 2019 elections.
“Today, the Secretary of State is imposing additional visa restrictions on individuals for their actions surrounding the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa state elections and in the run-up to the September and October 2020 Edo and Ondo state elections.
“These individuals have so far operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and have undermined democratic principles.”
The report said although the US Government did not reveal the identities of those who have been banned, it said the ban was in furtherance of its commitment to strengthening democracy in Nigeria.
“The Department of State emphasises that the actions announced today are specific to certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people," he said.
Ortagus said the US remained a steadfast supporter of Nigerian democracy and commended all those Nigerians who participated in elections throughout 2019 and have worked to strengthen democratic institutions and processes.
He, however, condemned the acts of violence, intimidation, or corruption that harmed Nigerians and undermined the democratic process.
“As the Edo and Ondo state off-cycle elections near, we urge all stakeholders, including the Independent National Electoral Commission, the political parties, and the security services, to uphold the tenets of democracy and facilitate genuinely free and fair elections, conducted in an appropriately transparent and non-violent manner,” the US stated.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Godwin Obaseki, chided candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Osagie Ize-Iyamu over the latter’s speculative answer to the governor’s question during a debate on Sunday, September 13.
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