The United States of America has imposed travel restrictions on Nigerian Politicians and other top government functionaries responsible for the flawed 2023 general elections in Nigeria.
This was made known in a press release by the U.S. Department Of State, dated 15th May 2023. The United States Secretary of State, Mr Antony Blinken said-
The United States is committed to supporting and 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. These actions are specific to certain individuals and are not directed at the Nigerian people or the Government of Nigeria as a whole.
Under Section 212(a)(3)C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 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. These individuals have been involved in intimidation of voters through threats and physical violence, the manipulation of vote results, and other activity that undermines Nigeria’s democratic process.
The decision to take steps to impose visa restrictions reflects the continued commitment of the United States to support Nigerian aspirations to strengthen democracy and the rule of law.
It will be recalled the elections were marred with violence, voter intimidation, votes suppression, mutilation of election results, as well as harassment of party agents. In the same vein, the nation’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission also failed to follow its own election guidelines on poll day. Nigerians are hoping that the nation’s Judiciary which is currently handling hundreds of election petitions across the country, will dispense justice, as the beacon of hope of common Nigerians.