By Lizzy Okoji
Abuja, Jan. 25, 2023
The United States of America (USA) government has threatened to impose visa restrictions on individuals found acting to undermine the Nigerian 2023 general elections.
U.S. Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken made the announcement in a statement released by the U.S Mission in Abuja on Wednesday.
Blinken said that the action was in line with its commitment to supporting and advancing democracy in Nigeria and around the world.
“Today, I am announcing visa restrictions on specific individuals in Nigeria for undermining the democratic process in recent Nigerian elections.
“Under Section 212(a)(3)C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, these individuals will be found ineligible for visas to the United States under a policy to restrict visas of those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria.
“Certain family members of such persons may also be subject to these restrictions. Additional persons who undermine the democratic process in Nigeria -including in the lead-up to, during, and following Nigeria’s 2023 elections – may be found ineligible for U.S. visas under this policy.
“The visa restrictions announced today are specific to certain individuals and are not directed at the Nigerian people or the Government of Nigeria.
“The decision to impose visa restrictions reflects the commitment of the United States to support Nigerian aspirations to combat corruption and strengthen democracy and the rule of law,” he stated.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this is not the first time the U.S has placed such visa restrictions to deter people from disrupting the elections.