The federal government has faulted the United States and the United Kingdom for imposing sanction on Nigerians for election malpractice.
Both countries had on Monday and Tuesday slammed some Nigerian individuals with visa ban for their role in the election violence in Bayelsa and Kogi States and threat to do the same for the Edo and Ondo States governorship elections.
The federal government through the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ferdinand Nwonye, in Abuja on Friday, said the decision to place visa restrictions on Nigerians as punitive measures against election rigging is a show of disrespect to Nigeria’s sovereignty and as such, the foreign countries have no right to sit and judge over the conduct of her citizens, adding that such decisions are left to the Independent National Electoral Commission. to decide.
However, the government appreciated the foreign countries for their past support and called for more international partnerships.
The statement read; “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to state that the Nigerian government has taken note of the concerns of some of our partners, especially the US and UK governments regarding the elections in Edo and Ondo States.
“They have also expressed their intentions to take punitive measures against those who decide to, in what they termed as, undermine democracy.
“It is important to highlight that the responsibility for the conduct of elections in Nigeria solely resides with the Independent National Electoral Commission and State Independent Electoral Commissions.
Furthermore, it should be noted that there are ample provisions in our laws to sanction violators and perpetrators of electoral violence and fraud.
“It would be considered disrespectful of the sovereignty of Nigeria for any outside authority to sit in judgment over the conduct of our citizens and apply punitive measures such as visa restriction, unilaterally.
“While we appreciate the support and encouragement of our international partners such as the EU, we urge our equally valued partners such as the UK and the US to cooperate with our relevant agencies.”
The commission also reiterated President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to credible elections and provision of all necessary logistic, financial and security support to the electoral process.
“The Federal Government, and especially the President, is committed to providing all necessary logistic, financial, and security support to the electoral process.
“The president has continually urged all parties and contestants to peacefully conduct themselves before, during, and after the elections, and supported patriotic non-governmental initiatives such as the Abdusalami Abubakar-led Peace Committee.”