US imposes visa restrictions on Nigerians undermining democracy

The United States has imposed visa restrictions on some Nigerians accused of undermining democracy, noting that the move was part of a larger effort to advance democracy and combat corruption in Nigeria.

The sanctioned individuals, whose names were not revealed, would be ineligible for US visas, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who announced this in a statement on Wednesday.

The top diplomat also stated that some family members of those barred from entering the United States may face the same restrictions.

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He said: “We are committed to supporting and advancing democracy in Nigeria and around the world. Today, I am announcing visa restrictions on specific individuals in Nigeria for undermining the democratic process in a recent Nigerian election.

“Under Section 212(a)(3)C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, these individuals will be found ineligible for visas to the United States under a policy to restrict visas of those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria.

“Certain family members of such persons may also be subject to these restrictions. Additional persons who undermine the democratic process in Nigeria—including in the lead-up to, during, and following Nigeria’s 2023 elections—may be found ineligible for U.S. visas under this policy.’’

Blinken clarified that the visa restriction was not targeted at the Nigerian people or the government.

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