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‘Sanctioning of electoral offenders disrespectful to Nigeria’s sovereignty,’ FG tells US, UK

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The Federal Government on Friday described as disrespectful to the sovereignty of Nigeria, the decision of the United States, and the British government to apply punitive measures such as visas restriction on its citizens.

The federal government stated this in a statement issued by the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ferdinand Nwonye, in Abuja.

The government was reacting to the US imposition of a visa ban on perpetrators of election violence in Bayelsa and Kogi States and the United Kingdom’s threat to do the same for the Edo and Ondo States governorship elections.

The federal government reiterated its commitment to the provision of all necessary logistic, financial and security support to the electoral process.

The statement read: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to state that the Nigerian government has taken note of the concerns of some of our partners, especially the US and UK governments regarding the elections in Edo and Ondo States.

“They have also expressed their intentions to take punitive measures against those who decide to, in what they termed as, undermine democracy.

“It is important to highlight that the responsibility for the conduct of elections in Nigeria solely resides with the Independent National Electoral Commission and State Independent Electoral Commissions.

READ ALSO: Like US, British govt to slam visa ban, asset seizure on electoral offenders in Edo, Ondo

“The Federal Government, and especially the President, is committed to providing all necessary logistic, financial, and security support to the electoral process.

“The president has continually urged all parties and contestants to peacefully conduct themselves before, during, and after the elections, and supported patriotic non-governmental initiatives such as the Abdusalami Abubakar-led Peace Committee.

“Furthermore, it should be noted that there are ample provisions in our laws to sanction violators and perpetrators of electoral violence and fraud.

“It would be considered disrespectful of the sovereignty of Nigeria for any outside authority to sit in judgment over the conduct of our citizens and apply punitive measures such as visa restriction, unilaterally.

“While we appreciate the support and encouragement of our international partners such as the EU, we urge our equally valued partners such as the UK and the US to cooperate with our relevant agencies.”

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