The Federal Government has reacted to the recent visa restrictions imposed by the United States and the British government on electoral offenders in Nigeria.
In a statement issued on Friday, Ferdinand Nwonye, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said it was disrespectful to the sovereignty of Nigeria “for any outside authority to sit in judgment over the conduct of our citizens and apply punitive measures such as visa restriction, unilaterally”.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to state that the Nigerian government has taken note of the concerns of some of our partners, especially the US and UK governments regarding the elections in Edo and Ondo States,” the statement read.
“They have also expressed their intentions to take punitive measures against those who decide to, in what they termed as, undermine democracy.
“It is important to highlight that the responsibility for the conduct of elections in Nigeria solely resides with the Independent National Electoral Commission and State Independent Electoral Commissions.
“The Federal Government, and especially the President, is committed to providing all necessary logistic, financial, and security support to the electoral process.
“The president has continually urged all parties and contestants to peacefully conduct themselves before, during, and after the elections, and supported patriotic non-governmental initiatives such as the Abdusalami Abubakar-led Peace Committee.
“Furthermore, it should be noted that there are ample provisions in our laws to sanction violators and perpetrators of electoral violence and fraud.
“It would be considered disrespectful of the sovereignty of Nigeria for any outside authority to sit in judgment over the conduct of our citizens and apply punitive measures such as visa restriction, unilaterally.
“While we appreciate the support and encouragement of our international partners such as the EU, we urge our equally valued partners such as the UK and the US to cooperate with our relevant agencies.”
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