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Coalition writes EU, U.S., others to sanction those damaging democracy

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A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has appealed to the European Union (EU), the United States of America, Britain and Canada to impose visa restriction on individuals undermining Nigeria’s democracy.

In the letter submitted to the embassies yesterday, the coordinator, Deji Adeyanju, urged the U.S. government to extend visa restriction to the immediate family members of the affected politicians, individuals and officials that undermine the nation’s elections.

According to the group, this will in no small measure bring about a significant shift in their terrible approach to Nigeria’s elections.The letter read in part: “Our plea to the United States government and its allies, including the governments of United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union is to impose more stringent sanctions on individuals and officials responsible for undermining Nigeria’s elections and their families.

“We are aware that the government of the U.S. has profoundly demonstrated its resolve to place visa restriction on some politicians and individuals responsible for undermining Nigeria’s electoral and democratic process, especially during the heavily-rigged 2019 general elections, by making it a reality.

“The action of the U.S. government in this regard is highly commendable and we make bold to say that the people of Nigeria are highly elated and grateful, since the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari has deliberately refused to implement electoral reforms and rein in on violators of electoral rules and guidelines.”

The statement co-signed by fellow rights activists, Ariyo-Dare Atoye and Adebayo Raphael, further noted the reports of various missions, including the International Republican Institute (IRI), the Democratic Institute (DI), the European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) in Nigeria on the conduct of the 2019 general elections, which reportedly supported the coalition’s concerns, and called for a stiffer measures on the proponents of elections rigging.

“Your governments cannot continue to ‘waste’ tax-payers’ money on elections that some unscrupulous elements in the country have continued to undermine. “Sadly, the ruling government has annexed the legislature, captured the judiciary, prevailed on the media and divided the labour movement and some civil society groups, to foist a fascist state on Nigeria,” it added.

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Deji Adeyanju
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