Ahead of the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States, the United States of America has imposed a visa ban on politicians and other individuals for undermining the conduct of the November 2019 governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States.

This development was disclosed in a statement issued by the spokesperson for the Department of State, Morgan Ortagus, on Monday, September 14.

Although the statement failed to mention the names of the concerned individuals, it warned all stakeholders to ensure that the tenets of democracy are upheld in the coming elections.

The statement read, “In July 2019, we announced the imposition of visa restrictions on Nigerians who undermined the February and March 2019 elections. Today, the Secretary of State is imposing additional visa restrictions on individuals for their actions surrounding the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa State elections and in the run-up to the September and October 2020 Edo and Ondo State elections. These individuals have so far operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and have undermined democratic principles.”

It added, “The Department of State emphasizes that the actions announced today are specific to certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people. This decision reflects the Department of State’s commitment to working with the Nigerian government to realize its expressed commitment to end corruption and strengthen democracy, accountability, and respect for human rights. As the Edo and Ondo State off-cycle elections near, we urge all stakeholders, including the Independent National Electoral Commission, the political parties, and the security services, to uphold the tenets of democracy and facilitate genuinely free and fair elections, conducted in an appropriately transparent and non-violent manner.”

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