The United States Government has issued fresh visa sanction to Nigerians who will be perceived to sabotage democratic process in the 2023 general elections in Nigeria.
Rolf Olson, the political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, stated this on Thursday, November 17, 2022, at the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Alumni Association Annual Seminar 2022 on Promoting Electoral Integrity in Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges” in Abuja.
Olson who delivered his keynote address virtually described the threat as one of the important messages from the United States government about the upcoming elections.
He said that the US Government looked to all Nigerians to reject the use of violence and inflammatory rhetoric before, during, and after election day.
“When we say ‘all’ Nigerians we mean all: politicians, candidates, students, leaders of religious, traditional, community, youth, and business organizations and entities – everyone has a role to play in this effort.
“Even a small number of troublemakers can cause substantial havoc to an election. It takes a comprehensive effort to try to eliminate the use of violence and inflammatory rhetoric.
“Individuals seeking to undermine the democratic process, including through violence, may be found ineligible for visas to the United States.
“We have imposed visa restrictions in the past against those responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process, and remain fully willing to do so again in the context of the upcoming elections.”
He said it was essential that candidates and their parties – as well as all of their supporters seeking to help them win election – refrain from brash assertions of victory that suggest defeat is only possible if there is fraud.
“There is no true democratic election in which the outcome is foretold.
Abuse Of Policy: Student, Work Visas Restrictions On Nigerians Likely – UK Warns
The British Government has said it may tighten its student and work visa conditions to address what it called an abuse of the policy by Nigerians in the country.
The government mulls this measure amidst worries over the number of relatives Nigerian immigrants bring to the United Kingdom, UK, after securing student and work visas.
According to the UK Home Office data, the number of relatives brought in by Nigerians is almost at par with the percentage of student and work visas issued to the African country.
In comparison with other countries, like China, India, Pakistan, and United States, it was discovered that citizens of these countries bring in fewer numbers.
India is the only country that is close to Nigeria, the UK Home Office research showed. Nigerians secured about 34,000 study visas to the UK and they eventually brought 31,898 dependents.
The same applied to work visas, as 8,576 relatives went to the UK to join 8,972 Nigerian immigrants that were issued work visas, the research by the UK government showed.
This high number doesn’t sit well with the UK government, considering 114,837 Chinese immigrants granted UK student visas in 2021 brought in only 401 relatives.
For the Indian immigrants, about 24,916 dependents went to the UK to join around 93,049 Indian students that secured student visas.
It was gathered that 40 percent of relatives that accompanied foreign students between June last year and June 2022 were Nigerians.
This is despite seven percent of all foreign students during the period in review being Nigerians.
As a result, the UK government is considering tightening visa rules, according to UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman.
Also, Prime Business Africa had reported common UK visa rejection reasons, after Bangladesh, Ghana, and Algeria, amongst others, faced visa rejections up to 40 percent.