A man drops his voters card in a ballot

US, UK Threaten Visa Restrictions Against Troublemakers in Nigeria’s Elections

The United States and the United Kingdom governments have announced repercussions which include visa restrictions against individuals who get involved in election interference and election-related violence in Nigeria.

The two countries made known of the decisions in separate statements released on Thursday.

We welcome the signing of peace pledges by Nigerian candidates and their commitment to a peaceful electoral process.

UK statement reads:

(Twenty) 23 days to the Presidential and National Assembly elections and 37 days to the Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections, the British High Commission in Abuja would like to reaffirm our strong support for free, fair and peaceful elections in Nigeria.

We and our international partners remain committed supporters of Nigeria’s democracy.  We do not support any party or individual and believe that the Nigerian people should be able to choose their leaders in an environment free from hate speech and insecurity.

We continue to provide significant support to Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission and to Nigerian civil society to help them deliver credible elections.  We also regularly engage with actors across the political spectrum to encourage them to respect electoral rules and maintain an atmosphere of peace and calm.  We will be deploying an extensive observation mission for the forthcoming elections, including coordinating with the EU’s Election Observation Mission.  Our monitors will, in particular, be looking out for any attempts to encourage or use violence to influence the elections, including on social media. We would like to remind all Nigerians that where the UK is aware of such attempts, this may have consequences for individuals.  These could include their eligibility to travel to the UK, their ability to access UK based funds or lead to prosecution under international law.

The UK is a friend and partner of Nigeria.  We hope our continued support will play a role in helping Nigeria take a further step towards consolidating the progress made since democracy returned in 1999.

 

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