NIGERIA – Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council,(OYC), an Igbo socio-cultural organization, has lauded the United States of America for imposing a visa ban on politicians undermining the Nigerian democratic process.
The Igbo group lamented that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Security Agencies and the Judiciary, have allegedly continued to aid anti-democratic forces in undermining the nation’s electoral process
The group revealed that it would furnish the US government with facts and details to extend its hammers on corrupt public officeholders.
OYC, in a press statement signed by its President, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro and Secretary-General, Okwu Nnabuike, and issued on Friday, posited that the US move was a true reflection of the wishes of a majority of Nigerian citizenry and further urged the US government to extend the visa ban on sponsors of the nefarious killings across the country.
According to the Igbo youths, this travel ban and visa restrictions on the people shortlisted will strengthen all the democratic institutions in Nigeria and instil faith in the citizens that their votes will count in future elections, and would as well, accelerates President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government’s efforts to send a new electoral reform bill to the National Assembly and sign it into law.
Recall that the United States of America had imposed a visa ban on politicians, who it claimed undermined the conducts of the November 2019 governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States.
This move is in the run-up to the September and October 2020 governorship polls in Edo and Ondo respectively. The spokesperson for the Department of State, Morgan Ortagus, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.
But, Ohanaeze in its press statement further said, “the US declaration has answered prayers of Nigerians over their continuous intimidation from sacred cows and untouchables, that had serially raped the people’s electoral verdicts at the polls through their nefarious activities and collaborations with INEC, Security agents and some judiciary officials.
“OYC had collected over 95,000 signatories from Igbo youths across seven Igbo speaking states, including Anioma in Delta and Rivers States, and others in diaspora, that endorsed the petition titled “Proponents of stolen mandates in Igboland. Ohanaeze Youth Council is mandated to vigorously pursue these petitions against some Igbo politicians, who occupy some political offices through stolen mandates in Igboland. The petition urged for the extension of the U.S travel ban and visa restrictions to these Igbo politicians”.
The Igbo socio-cultural group urged the European Union and the United Kingdom to replicate the same severe sanctions on indicted Igbo electoral offenders and riggers to serve as a deterrent to others in the future.