The United States (US) says it plans to impose a visa ban on people who try to undermine Nigeria’s 2023 general elections.
The US Embassy’s Rolf Olson who is the political counsellor said this on Thursday in Abuja while speaking at the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship alumni association seminar.
He said sanctions have been placed on persons who undermined the nation’s election before and would be repeated in the next election.
“When we say ‘all’ Nigerians, we mean all: politicians, candidates, students, leaders of religious, traditional, community, youth and business organisations and entities – everyone has a role to play in this effort,” he said.
“Even a small number of troublemakers can cause substantial havoc to an election. It takes a comprehensive effort to try to eliminate the use of violence and inflammatory rhetoric.
“Individuals seeking to undermine the democratic process, including through violence, may be found ineligible for visas to the United States.
“We have imposed visa restrictions in the past against those responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process, and remain fully willing to do so again in the context of the upcoming elections.”
The Embassy’s political counsellor said the US does not support any candidate or party in the incoming general election.
“It never ceases to amaze me how often we see comments, claims, and assertions from people on social and traditional media about what our supposed objectives are in the elections, which candidate or party we favour, how to interpret certain statements or actions of ours in terms of what it means about our intentions are perceptions,” he said.
“In reality, I think it is quite simple to interpret us, especially when it comes to the elections. We always try to be clear in our messages, so let me be clear here on several important points:
“The United States does not support any individual candidate or party in this election cycle (or for that matter, in any other upcoming election).
“Our interest is in supporting credible and transparent elections that reflect the will of Nigerian voters, in a process that is conducted peacefully.”
In 2020, the Embassy imposed visa sanctions on people who undermined electoral processes in Kogi and Bayelsa state governorship elections.
For the 2023 general elections, the US in Nigeria has allocated $50m as support funds, according to a report by TVC.
Excellent journalism is expensive. It is only the same that can help to build our society and country to entrench good governance, and development and ensure justice for all.
We need your support for investigative findings and special reports to demand accountable and transparent government. DONATE today to help us stay relevant to serve your quest for accurate and authentic stories.
DONATE TO 0450702364, naira OR 0657626454, USD – GTBANK
TECHNOCRAT INNOVATIONS PLUS LTD