VISA BAN: PMB Administration Appeals to Nigerian Sovereignty
Authorities in Nigeria are making an issue of the US and UK’s decision to impose visa ban on electoral offenders in the African country.
Nigerian Sketch reports that the US government had on Monday, September 14 imposed a visa restriction on some individuals for allegedly rigging the November 2019 governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states as well as in the run-up to the September and October 2020 Edo and Ondo governorship polls.
The government in Nigeria is responding to the visa ban by appealing to its sovereignty, which analysts say has never been doubted nor undermined by the ban.
The Nigerian government said the ban was disrespectful to the sovereignty of the country, since it appears to be a punitive measure imposed on it by another country.
Spokesperson for Nigeria’s ministry of foreign affairs, Ferdinand Nwonye, said in a statement on Friday that “The ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to state that the Nigerian government has taken note of the concerns of some of our partners, especially the U.S. and UK governments regarding the elections in Edo and Ondo States.
“They have also expressed their intentions to take punitive measures against those who decide to, in what they termed as, undermine democracy.
“It is important to highlight that the responsibility for the conduct of elections in Nigeria solely resides with the Independent National Electoral Commission and State Independent Electoral Commissions.
“The federal government, and especially the president, is committed to providing all necessary logistic, financial and security support to the electoral process.
“The president has continually urged all parties and contestants to peacefully conduct themselves before, during and after the elections, and supported patriotic non-governmental initiatives such as the Abdusalami Abubakar-led Peace Committee.
“Furthermore, it should be noted that there are ample provisions in our laws to sanction violators and perpetrators of electoral violence and fraud.
“It would be considered disrespectful of the sovereignty of Nigeria for any outside authority to sit in judgment over the conduct of our citizens and apply punitive measures such as visa restriction, unilaterally.
“While we appreciate the support and encouragement of our international partners such as the EU, we urge our equally valued partners such as the UK and U.S. to cooperate with our relevant agencies,” the statement said.