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US slams visa ban on certain persons over 2019 Bayelsa, Kogi elections; forthcoming Edo, Ondo elections

The United States government on Monday imposed visa restriction on perpetrators of electoral fraud in last year’s governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states.

The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who disclosed this in a statement issued by the spokesperson for the Department of State, Morgan Ortagus, said some individuals were also sanctioned for their actions in the run-up to the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states.

The Edo and Ondo governorship elections will hold on September 19 and October 10 respectively.

However, the US government did not reveal the identities of those who were slammed with visa restrictions.

The statement read: “In July 2019, we announced the imposition of visa restrictions on Nigerians who undermined the February and March 2019 elections. Today, the Secretary of State is imposing additional visa restrictions on individuals for their actions surrounding the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa State elections and in the run-up to the September and October 2020 Edo and Ondo State elections.

READ ALSO: We’ll conduct credible elections in Edo, Ondo —INEC

“These individuals have so far operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and have undermined democratic principles.

“The Department of State emphasises that the actions announced today are specific to certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people. This decision reflects the Department of State’s commitment to working with the Nigerian government to realise its expressed commitment to end corruption and strengthen democracy, accountability, and respect for human rights.”

The US said it remained a steadfast supporter of Nigerian democracy and commended all those who participated in elections throughout 2019 and had worked to strengthen democratic institutions and processes in the country.

It also condemned the acts of violence, intimidation, or corruption that harmed Nigerians and undermined the democratic process.

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