from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE United States (US) has slapped sanctions on some unnamed Nigerian individuals for allegedly undermining the democratic process in the upcoming elections.
Located west of the continent, Africa’s biggest country by population will hold polls in February.
Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, late Wednesday announced visa restrictions on “specific individuals” alleged to be scuttling efforts towards credible polls.
This is under sections 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,” Blinken stated.
He said family members of such persons might 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,” Blinken stated.
He stated that visa restrictions were specific to certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people or the government of the West African country.
“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.”
Violence has wrecked preparations for polls in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country with over 200 million people.
– CAJ News