AHEAD of the forthcoming general elections, the United States (US), on Friday, January 20, warned that it would impose visa ban on electoral offenders.
US Consul General Will Stevens gave the warning in Asaba, Delta State, during the signing of Open Government manifesto by governorship candidates of various political parties in the state.
The event took place at the OpenGov Town Hall meeting organised under the auspices of the Niger Delta Open Observatory (NOGO) cluster supported by the USAID Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project implemented by Palladium.
Stevens said the visa ban is a long standing practice, noting that it will be applicable to offenders in the 2023 general elections.
He stressed that the US does not have a preferred candidate but is only interested in a free, fair and credible election in Nigeria.
“We in the US do not have a preferred candidate. We are not interested in particular political parties or candidates, what we are interested in is free, fair and credible elections to represent the people of Nigeria.
“These elections are so important. Nigeria is the fifth largest democracy in the world. So when the people of Nigeria come to vote, you are showing the strength of democracy to the rest of the world.”
He also disclosed that his home country has so far provided nearly $50 million worth of technical assistance to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and others to strengthen mechanisms for the election.