November 26, 2020

U.S. slaps more election-related visa restrictions on Nigerians

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Monday imposed additional visa restrictions on Nigerians over election-related activities in the African nation, the State Department said, accusing them of being responsible for undermining the democratic process.

The restrictions were imposed on the individuals, who were not named, “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,” the State Department said in a statement.

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

In 2019, the United States imposed visa restrictions on Nigerians it said had undermined elections in February and March of that year.

The State Department said it warned in a statement last year that it would consider consequences, including visa restrictions, on those responsible for organizing election-related violence or undermining the Nigerian democratic process.

Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Paul Simao

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