Visa ban: Nigerian govt laments sanctioning of electoral offenders by United States
The Nigerian government has said it considers it disrespectful to the sovereignty of the country for any government outside the country to apply punitive measures such as visas restriction on its citizens.
The Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ferdinand Nwonye made this known in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja, NAN reports.
According to the statement, the Nigerian Government said it was committed to providing all necessary logistic, financial and security support to the electoral process.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to state that the Nigerian government has taken note of the concerns of some of our partners, especially the U.S. and UK governments regarding the elections in Edo and Ondo States.
“They have also expressed their intentions to take punitive measures against those who decide to, in what they termed as, undermine democracy.
“It is important to highlight that the responsibility for the conduct of elections in Nigeria solely resides with the Independent National Electoral Commission and State Independent Electoral Commissions.
“The Federal Government, and especially the President, is committed to providing all necessary logistic, financial and security support to the electoral process.
“The President has continually urged all parties and contestants to peacefully conduct themselves before, during and after the elections, and supported patriotic non-governmental initiatives such as the Abdusalami Abubakar-led Peace Committee.
“Furthermore, it should be noted that there are ample provisions in our laws to sanction violators and perpetrators of electoral violence and fraud.
“It would be considered disrespectful of the sovereignty of Nigeria for any outside authority to sit in judgment over the conduct of our citizens and apply punitive measures such as visa restriction, unilaterally.
“While we appreciate the support and encouragement of our international partners such as the EU, we urge our equally valued partners such as the UK and U.S. to cooperate with our relevant agencies,” the statement said.
The government also expressed solidarity with the government and people of the U.S. as regards their forthcoming election, which it hoped would be free from interference and violence.
Recall that the United States of America had imposed visa ban on politicians, whom it claimed undermined the conducts of the November 2019 governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.