FG, US hold emergency meeting on visa restriction

FG, US hold emergency meeting on visa restriction

- Nigeria is taking the visa ban from the US seriously

- To address the issue, the minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, is in a meeting with the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard

- The closed-door meeting is said to be taking place at the ministry of foreign affairs in Abuja

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As a first step to address the recent visa restriction issue, representatives of the governments of Nigeria and the United States of America (USA) are said to be a closed-door meeting in Abuja.

According to The Nation, the meeting is attended by Nigeria's minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Although nothing official is out as to resolution made at the meeting as it is still ongoing at press time, the gathering is expected to afford the federal government the opportunity to brief the US on steps it has taken after the ban.

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FG, US hold emergency meeting on visa restriction
Geoffrey Onyeama and Mary Beth Leonard (Photo credit: Geoffrey Onyeama)
Source: Twitter

Onyeama is expected to brief journalists on his discussion with Leonard after the meeting which took place around 11am.

Earlier, Saraki had reacted to the US recent visa restriction slammed on some Nigerians who undermine the democracy especially during Kogi and Bayelsa gubernatorial elections.

The former Senate president during an event to mark the 2020 edition of the International Day of Democracy organised by the Centre for Advancement of Civil Liberties, hailed the US for taking a step in the right direction to deter enemies of democracy in Nigeria.

He said: “The US decision to place visa restrictions on certain Nigerian politicians for their ignoble roles in the 2019 elections is commendable.

Moreover, the former Kwara governor called on the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) to place similar bans on not just Nigerian politicians but all corrupt stakeholders like security operatives, electoral officers, election tribunal judges who in one way or the other.

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Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had praised the US over the ban. The opposition party in a statement signed by Kola Ologbondiyan, the national publicity secretary, on Tuesday, September 15, noted that the election riggers undermined Nigeria's democracy and the electoral process.

The PDP also demanded that the US Department of State extend the visa ban to the family members of such individuals.

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