Trump Administration imposes visa sanctions against Nigerians over “electoral violence”
The Trump Administration has recently imposed strict visa restrictions against Nigerians for their actions with regard to the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa State elections, and also in the run up to the September and October 2020 Edo and Ondo State elections.
This announcement was made by the US Embassy in Nigeria this past Monday. The sanction comes one year after the Trump Administration imposed visa restrictions against Nigerians who were said to have undermined the February and March 2019 elections.
The American government has claimed that it is a supporter of democracy in the African country of Nigeria, and remains fully committed to working “in tandem to advance democracy and respect for human rights, and achieve greater peace and prosperity for both our nations.”
“We decry the acts of violence, intimidation, or corruption that harmed Nigerians and undermined the democratic process.”
The Embassy has encouraged all stakeholders participating in the Edo and Ondo elections to refrain from participating in electoral violence, and support the principles of democracy, facilitate truly free and fair elections, and do it in a transparent and absolutely non-violent fashion.
The statement revealed that back in January 2019 the Trump Administration had warned that visa restrictions would be imposed against individuals who are responsible for undermining Nigerian democratic process, and/or contributing to election-related violence, referring to the July 2019 visa restrictions against Nigerians for the roles in 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.”
Many experts have found this news to be quite ironic in that the United States' government has repeatedly proven to be incredibly anti-democratic itself by intervening in the domestic affairs of countless countries, undermining regional security in the Middle East, and starting wars that have resulted in the death of millions of innocent people.