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US visa ban on Nigerian politicians shows 2019 poll was rigged – Atiku

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the February 23 poll, Atiku Abubakar, has said the visa restriction placed on Nigerian politicians believed to have been responsible for undermining democracy in Nigeria by the US State Department validated his claims that the general elections were rigged.

Atiku in a statement on Wednesday, July 24, by his special adviser on media, Paul Ibe, said in the aftermath of the “daylight robbery that occurred on election day” Buhari’s regime and its allies went into a propaganda overdrive to deny the obvious, The Nation reports.

The former vice president said how long lies stay, it must eventually be overtaken by truth, as he called on Nigerians not to despair, expressing hope that there would be relief soon.

“After the conduct of the February 23, 2019 Nigerian presidential elections, we maintained that the polls were rigged, not credible and that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar won the elections and that his mandate was stolen.

“It seems that day has come. After many months of living in denial, the Buhari regime is now faced with the truth in the form of a US visa ban on politicians who undermined Nigeria’s democracy,” he said.

The media aide gave more details, showing how the US department will impose travel ban on those who rigged the poll.

“Speaking on the ban, the US State Department in a statement by its spokesman, Morgan Ortagus on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, stated that ‘we condemn those whose acts of violence, intimidation, or corruption harmed Nigerians or undermined the democratic process.’

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“Speaking further, Ortagus said, ‘the Secretary of State is imposing visa restrictions on Nigerians believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria.’

“These individuals have operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and undermined democratic principles and human rights,” he said.

He also appreciated the US for standing with Nigerians with the recent move to deal with people who have been trying to cut short the nation’s democracy.

“The above statement is a vindication of our position that the 2019 elections were ‘undermined’ by the actions of state actors and institutions.

“We also wish to thank the United States of America for standing with the Nigerian people against those whose desire it is to truncate our democracy.

“The myriad of security, economic and social challenges Nigeria currently faces, which has resulted in our nation becoming the world headquarters for extreme poverty will, God wiling, soon be over, with the prospect of purposeful and result oriented leadership,” Atiku said.

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