The United States imposed visa restrictions on some Nigerians accused of undermining democracy, noting that this was part of the move to promote democracy and fight corruption in Nigeria.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday, said the sanctioned individuals, whose names he did not disclose, would not be eligible for a US visa.

The high-ranking diplomat also explained that some family members of those excluded from the US may be subject to the same restriction.

He said: “We are committed to supporting and promoting democracy in Nigeria and around the world. Today, I am announcing visa restrictions for specific individuals in Nigeria for undermining the democratic process in a recent election in Nigeria.

”Under Section 212(a)(3)C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, these individuals will not be eligible for visas to the United States under a policy to restrict visas from those believed to be responsible or complicit. of, undermining democracy in Nigeria.

”Certain family members of such persons may also be subject to these restrictions. Additional individuals who undermine the democratic process in Nigeria, including in the lead up to, during, and after the 2023 Nigerian elections, may not be eligible for US visas under this policy.”

Blinken clarified that the visa restriction was not directed at the Nigerian people or the government.

He described it as a reflection of the US government’s commitment to supporting Nigeria’s aspiration to fight corruption and strengthen democracy and the rule of law.

”The visa restrictions announced today are specific to certain individuals and are not directed at the Nigerian people or the Nigerian Government. The decision to impose visa restrictions reflects the United States’ commitment to supporting Nigeria’s aspirations to combat corruption and strengthen democracy and the rule of law,” the statement said.

The development comes just two months after US Embassy Nigeria Political Counselor Rolf Olson said the US would impose visa sanctions on people who try to undermine Nigeria’s democratic process.

Speaking at the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship alumni association seminar last November, Olson said sanctions had been placed on people who undermined the nation’s elections before and would be repeated in the next election.

He said: “Even a small number of rioters can wreak substantial havoc in an election. A comprehensive effort is needed to try to eliminate the use of violence and inflammatory rhetoric.

“Persons who seek to undermine the democratic process, including through violence, may not be eligible for visas to the United States. We have imposed visa restrictions in the past against those responsible or complicit in undermining the democratic process, and we are fully prepared to do so again in the context of the upcoming elections.”