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U.S. imposes additional election-related visa restrictions on Nigerians

The United States Department of State announced an additional imposition of visa restrictions on certain Nigerians over election-related activities.

The individuals, who were not named, are accused of being responsible for undermining the democratic process in connection with state elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states in November 2019 and the lead up to state elections in Edo and Ondo states in September and October this year.

“These individuals have so far operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and have undermined democratic principles,” a statement by State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus said.

“The Department of State emphasizes that the actions announced today are specific to certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people.”

In July 2019, the U.S. announced the imposition of visa restrictions on Nigerians who undermined the February and March 2019 elections.

The sanctions came after an earlier warning by the U.S. that it would consider consequences, including visa restrictions, for individuals responsible for undermining the Nigerian democratic process or for organizing election-related violence.

The Department said the decision reflected the “commitment to working with the Nigerian government to realize its expressed commitment to end corruption and strengthen democracy, accountability, and respect for human rights.”

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