The United States (US) has imposed a visa ban on certain Nigerians for “undermining democracy” in the country.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Wednesday that the actions were taken after it was discovered that some people were complicit in undermining democracy in Nigeria.
The most recent governorship elections in Nigeria were in Ekiti and Osun.
According to Blinken, the bans were imposed to demonstrate Nigeria’s commitment to and support for democracy.
“Today, I am announcing visa restrictions on specific individuals in Nigeria for undermining the democratic process in a recent Nigerian election,” the statement reads.
“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.”
The ban may also affect certain family members of those who are affected.
Blinken also stated that the restrictions were not aimed at the general population or the government, but rather at reducing corruption.
“The visa restrictions announced today are specific to certain individuals and are not directed at the Nigerian people or the Government of Nigeria,” the statement reads.
“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.
“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.”
BizWatch Nigeria recalls that the United States has repeatedly warned Nigerian electoral offenders of harsh punishment.