• News - North Central - Kogi
  • Updated: September 18, 2020

US Visa Ban 'Unacceptable' - Kogi State Govt

The Kogi State Government said that it found the US ban on some Nigerian politicians "unacceptable," protesting the "presumption."

The United States, on Monday, had announced a ban on entry for some Nigerian politicians for their involvement in the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections.

If you recall, AllNews reported on the violence that marred the 2019 Kogi State election months ago that led to Yahaya Bello installed as governor, a title that was contested by the opposition, Natasha Akpoti of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

And the Bayelsa State election was also mired in controversy, as the presumed winner of the election, Duoye Diri, was briefly removed and subsequently re-installed after the court struck out the petition for the annulment of the election.

Responding to the list by the US - with the names of the affected individuals left undisclosed - the Kogi State Government through the secretary of state to the government, Folashade Ayoade, said, “Please note that for the purposes of this protest letter we are only interested in the citations to the extent that they are referable to Kogi state and her citizens.

“For the most part, we concede that elections in Nigeria are complex affairs which will continue to require improvements for the foreseeable future.

“The 2019 Kogi state gubernatorial election was also not without its challenges. However, it is also crystal clear from critical and composite analyses of the records (official, media, observers, etc) of the November 16, 2020 polls that regrettable incidents were limited to a few polling units, while the overwhelmingly larger portions of the ballot were free, fair and credible.

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Affirms Election Of Yahaya Bello As Kogi Governor

“Further, and in line with Nigerian law, the few political parties and individuals who alleged widespread electoral malpractices had free rein to contest the outcome in court. They vigorously litigated their claims over a grueling 9-month period, through a 3-step hierarchy of courts, to the inescapable conclusion at the Supreme Court of Nigeria that the said elections satisfactorily complied with the Nigerian constitution and the electoral act.

“Our concern right now is not the prerogative of the United States of America to impose entry restrictions on anyone, for any or no reason at all, which prerogative remains unfettered, but the room for atrocious misinformation which the timing of your Press Statement and the mention of the Kogi elections therein has created in our state.

“For the February and March 2019 General elections, your advisory came out in July 2019, long before the supreme court delivered her judgments in the petitions against those elections, including challenges to President Muhammadu Buhari’s reelection.

“The presumption is that in spite of your intervention, the supreme court still discovered no merit in the petitions and dismissed them accordingly.

“We find this unacceptable, and we protest your presumption. The least you could have done, if indeed this is about democracy and human rights as claimed, is create room, no matter how slim, for fair hearing.

“As it is now, partisan speculation as to who is indicted, who is not and for what, has become cudgels, furiously swung in the media space by all comers. Your action has therefore added abundant grist to the rumour mills and electrified the merchants of fake news.

“Let it be noted that we are not challenging your visa bans in any way, whoever they may affect and for how long, but we do register the strongest protest possible as a State to the collateral and unwarranted interference in our political and social processes which it represents.”

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Kindness Udoh
Kindness Udoh

A severely bored individual with a knack for making sense of the human existence. He writes leaning...

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