The United States has taken steps to impose visa restrictions on specific individuals in Nigeria for undermining the democratic process during the just concluded 2023 general elections.
The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, disclosed this on Monday.
In a statement, Blinken said the administration of President Joe Biden is committed to advancing democracy in Nigeria and around the world.
“Today, I am announcing that we have taken steps to impose visa restrictions on specific individuals in Nigeria for undermining the democratic process during Nigeria’s 2023 elections cycle,” the statement read.
“The United States is committed to supporting and advancing democracy in Nigeria and around the world.”
He stated that the visa restrictions “are specific to certain individuals and are not directed at the Nigerian people or the government of Nigeria as a whole”.
Citing Section 212(a)(3)C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Blinken explained that “these individuals will be subject to restrictions on visas to the United States under a policy covering those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy”.
However, the US Government did not mention any of the individuals or groups of persons perceived to have undermined Nigeria’s 2023 polls.
“These individuals have been involved in the intimidation of voters through threats and physical violence, the manipulation of vote results, and other activity that undermines Nigeria’s democratic process,” Blinken added.
According to the statement, the US government’s decision reflects the continued commitment of the country to support Nigeria’s aspiration to strengthen democracy and the rule of law.