US Says Visa Restriction May Affect Family Members of Affected Politicians

The US Department of State says those who undermine democracy are not welcome in the United States.

The United States has said that its recent Visa restriction on some politicians in Nigeria may be extended to the family members of the politicians, who were said to have undermined Nigerian democracy during the 2019 general elections.

The US also said the American Visas issued to the affected politicians and others have been revoked by the Department of State.

You’ll recall that on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, the US Department of State announced in s statement that the visa restriction placed on some undisclosed politicians believed to be responsible for election-related violence and rights abuse during the 2019 elections.

The statement further said that the decision was a part of its commitment with Nigerian government to end corruption, strengthen democracy, accountability and respect for human rights.

However, on Friday, July 26, 2019, the US while responding to Punch’s enquiries about the visa restriction said in a statement that the travel ban would also affect family members of the affeected people “when warranted.”

The statement reads: “Any individual named in this policy who already has a visa to travel to the US will be informed that it has been revoked.

“Any individual named in this policy who applies for a visa to travel to the United States will be denied one.

“These restrictions may, when warranted, also affect the family members of those individuals subject to visa restrictions under this policy.”

The statement, which was emailed to the newspaper by Nicole Thompson of the State Department Press Office further states that “ Under US law, individual visa records are confidential and we cannot provide details as to who is or will be affected.

“The policy covers those believed to be responsible for or complicit in, undermining democracy, including those responsible for or complicity in the rigging of the electoral process; corruption; vote-buying; intimidation of voters, the media or election observers through threats or acts of physical violence; suppression of peaceful protestors; and threats against judicial independence.

“With these restrictions, we are sending a clear message that those who undermine democracy or violate or abuse human rights — and their families — are not welcome in the United States.”

Meanwhile, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has reacted to the travel ban imposed on the undisclosed politicians by the US government.

Atiku said the ban conformed his claim that the 2019 general elections were rigged.

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