US government restricts visas to Nigerians ahead of polls

The United States has announced the restriction of visas to Nigerians weeks ahead of general elections in the African nation.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a statement: "To support Nigeria’s upcoming elections, today I am announcing visa restrictions for those involved in undermining democracy in Nigeria.?The United States supports Nigerian aspirations to combat corruption and strengthen democracy and the rule of law."

"Those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria" will face visa restrictions, he added.

The restrictions are specific to certain individuals and not "the Nigerian people or the Government of Nigeria.”

International politics analyst Bashir Mohammed said: "the decision by the US government is a welcomed development that will help for the smooth conduct of free and fair elections in Nigeria."

Another expert, Musa Abdullahi Sufi, commended the decision saying "we believe this action will serve as warning to those sabotaging democracy."

General elections in Nigeria are slated for Feb. 25.

Source: Anadolu Agency