The US Government has imposed visa restrictions on “individuals responsible for undermining the Nigerian democratic process.”

A spokesperson of the US Department of State, Ms Morgan Ortagus, revealed this in a statement on Tuesday.

Ortagus explained that the action applied to those responsible for election-related violence.

According to her, the unidentified individuals had “operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and undermined democratic principles and human rights”.

“In a January 24 statement, the U.S. government said that we would consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for individuals responsible for undermining the Nigerian democratic process or for organising election-related violence.

“To that end, the Secretary of State is imposing visa restrictions on Nigerians believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria.

“These individuals have operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and undermined democratic principles and human rights,” she said.

The spokesperson emphasised that the restrictions targeted at specific individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people or the newly-elected government.

“The United States is a steadfast supporter of Nigerian democracy.

“We commend all those Nigerians who participated peacefully in the February and March 2019 elections and have worked to strengthen Nigerian democratic institutions and processes.

“As Nigeria marks the 20th anniversary of a return to democratic rule this year, we remain committed to working together to continue to advance democracy and respect for human rights and achieve greater peace and prosperity for both our nations.

“We condemn those whose acts of violence, intimidation, or corruption harmed Nigerians or undermined the democratic process,” Ortagus added.

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