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Why we won’t reveal riggers on visa ban, by US

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By Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

The United States has explained why it won’t reveal the identities of Nigerians placed on visa ban for interfering in electoral process.

The US on Monday placed visa ban on unnamed Nigerians for undermining the November 2019 governorship polls in Bayelsa and Kogi.

It warned those who dare to impede electoral processes in the forthcoming Edo and Ondo governorship polls will join those on the list.

On why the identities of those affected were not disclosed, US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, it was to respect the confidentiality attached to visa-related issues.

Leonard spoke at the end of the inaugural consular meeting with Nigeria officials to resolve the listing of Nigeria among countries placed on immigration restrictions.

She however said names of offenders would not be made public “as US visa processes are in fact confidential and so we do not publish a list, we do not make public who it is that would be subjected to this sanction.

“An individual who intends to travel or apply for visa would be refused and impeded but it is not something that we advertise, who these individuals are.

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“Anyone who had been involved with election processes in Nigeria should reflect upon that notorious behavior in this regards may have the consequences for their ability to travel to United States.”

On those who might have been denied, she said: “There are people who we believe merit that treatment and should those people seek to travel or apply for visa it will apply to them.”

On the consular matter, she commended Nigeria for efforts so far put in place to address the issue of information sharing among others concerns raised.

She commended Nigeria for making such progress in areas of concerns involving information sharing and handling of returnees from United States and other consular matters despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

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