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US denies entry to Nigerians accused of undermining democracy

Some unidentified Nigerians have been denied visas by the US embassy “for disrupting the democratic process in a recent Nigerian election,” according to the announcement.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Wednesday that the move was evidence of his government’s “commitment to helping Nigeria’s goal to tackle corruption and improve democracy and the rule of law.”

The impacted persons won’t be given visas to enter the US, according to the top US diplomat, “under a policy to restrict visas of anyone judged to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria.”

He added that similar limitations might also apply to their family members.

The statement continued, “Additional persons who disrupt the democratic process in Nigeria—including in the run-up to, during, and after Nigeria’s elections in 2023—may be judged ineligible for US visas under this policy.”

However, Mr. Blinken made it clear that neither the Nigerian people nor the administration were the focus of the visa suspension.

It comes just two months after Rolf Olson, the political adviser at the US embassy in Nigeria, made a like claim.

The US government also issued visa restrictions for select people prior to the Edo and Ondo governorship elections on September 19 and October 10, 2020.

On February 25, the nation is scheduled to hold general elections.

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