The United States has imposed visa restrictions on some Nigerians found to have undermined the democratic process in recent elections in the country.
The top-ranking diplomat noted that some family members of the culprits may also pay the same price, adding that any persons found committing similar infractions in the upcoming 2023 elections will be equally punished.
The statement partly read: ”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.’’
Meanwhile, Blinken dismissed any notion that the restriction was targeted at the Nigerian people or the government, insisting that it’s a reflection of the US government’s commitment to supporting the country’s effort to combat corruption and strengthen democracy and the rule of law.
The statement added: ‘’The visa restrictions announced today are specific to certain individuals and are not directed at the Nigerian people or the Government of Nigeria. The decision to impose visa restrictions reflects the commitment of the United States to support Nigerian aspirations to combat corruption and strengthen democracy and the rule of law.”