US imposes visa restrictions on Nigerians who rigged 2019 elections

The U.S. government, headed by Donald Trump (right), says the sanctions are not targeted at the newly elected Nigerian government, headed by Muhammadu Buhari (left) [BBC]

The sanctions target those responsible for acts of violence, intimidation, or corruption that harmed Nigerians or undermined the democratic process.

The United States government has imposed visa restrictions on those believed to have undermined the democratic process throughout Nigeria’s 2019 elections.

The elections which took place in February and March were marred by violence and several electoral malpractices.

U.S. Department of State spokesperson, Morgan Ortagus, announced on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 that some unnamed individuals will be sanctioned for acts of violence, intimidation, or corruption that harmed Nigerians or undermined the democratic process.

“The Secretary of State is imposing visa restrictions on Nigerians believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria. 

“These individuals have operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and undermined democratic principles and human rights.” she said.

Ortagus noted that the visa restrictions are not directed at the newly elected government or the Nigerian people in general, but specific individuals.

The State Department also commended Nigerians who participated peacefully in the elections and have worked to strengthen the country’s democratic institutions and processes.

The Department expressed its commitment to keep working with the Nigerian government to realise its commitment to end corruption and strengthen democracy, accountability, and respect for human rights.

President Muhammadu Buhari won the presidential election for a second term in office, but his main challenger, Atiku Abubakar, rejected the result, calling it the worst election in Nigeria’s history.

He’s currently contesting Buhari’s victory before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, alleging widespread electoral misconducts

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