Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, and Kogi governor, Yahaya Bello, are reportedly among those affected by the latest US sanction, Sahara reporters, reports.
Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna on the other hand had his own visa ban extended. He has been banned from entering the US since 2010 over a graft case.
The US government had on Monday, September 14, issued US visa ban on Nigerians found guilty of rigging the Kogi and Bayelsa state governorship elections held in 2019 as well as other Nigerians engaging in illicit practices in the run-up to the September and October 2020 Edo and Ondo states elections.
According to US officials, more Nigerian politicians may be included on the visa ban list after the Edo governorship election if they are involved in electoral malpractice. A statement released by the spokesperson for the Department of State, Morgan Ortagus, said those issued visa bans received the sanction for undermining democracy in Nigeria.
“In July 2019, we announced the imposition of visa restrictions on Nigerians who undermined the February and March 2019 elections. Today, the Secretary of State is imposing additional visa restrictions on individuals for their actions surrounding the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa states elections and in the run up to the September and October 2020 Edo and Ondo states elections.
These individuals have so far operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and have undermined democratic principles.
The Department of State emphasises that the actions announced today are specific to certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people. This decision reflects the Department of State’s commitment to working with the Nigerian Government to realise its expressed commitment to end corruption and strengthen democracy, accountability, and respect for human rights.” the statement read