The United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, has revealed that the US has imposed visa restrictions on specific individuals who helped undermine the 2023 elections in Nigeria.
Blinked made this known via a statement on his verified social media / Twitter page:
This is the posted statement:
“We have imposed visa restrictions on specific individuals who undermined the democratic process during Nigeria’s 2023 elections. We remain committed to supporting Nigerian aspirations to strengthen democracy and rule of law”.
However, this statement does not seem to meet the expectations of majority of Nigerians, especially those who suffered violence, ethnic targeting and even death during the elections.
Many of the responses on social media are calling on the US to name the individuals who are expected to be politicians and political operatives. Some are even doubting if any such lists exist, since many of the suspected political operatives are known to still travel freely.
Nigerians are also expecting the US to be more firm in handling such individuals, and are expecting targeted sanctions at their properties and families mostly residing in the US and European countries.
It is well known that many Nigerian politicians including the ones on any purported list have properties and family links to the US.
For any sanctions to be effective and serve a deterrence value, the US should demonstrate the will to go after such politicians, their properties and appendages.
Just releasing a bland statement on visa restrictions will only embolden such behaviors in subsequent elections. A lot of the comments from Nigerians seem to point in that direction and were even listing the names of politicians expected to be on that list.
Here is the Tweet from Blinken:
Here are some of the reactions on social media: