TRACKING_____The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has commended the United States over its latest imposition of a visa ban on some Nigerian politicians accused of undermining democracy and the electoral process in Nigeria.
In a statement on Tuesday by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the opposition party urged the United States Department of State to include family members and assets of the politicians affected by the ban.
The United States had on Tuesday announced a fresh visa ban on some politicians believed to have played some roles in electoral violence during the November 16, 2019 governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
The PDP also urged the United States to invite the European Union as well as other nations, particularly the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, to also join in imposing similar sanctions on electoral violators in Nigeria who are bent on destroying the nation’s democracy.
It similarly demanded an extension of the ban to families as well as confiscation of assets of such individuals to serve as a stronger deterrent to protect innocent Nigerians who are left to bear the brunt of the misdeed of such unpatriotic persons.
The PDP added that the ban, if taken across the globe, would be a final warning to the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as well as “compromised” security and electoral officials, being used to perpetrate electoral violence and manipulations.
The statement said, “It is instructive to note that this announcement by the US, which reinforces the determination for resistance in Nigeria, is also an unambiguous cautionary to the sacked national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, the APC governorship candidates in Edo, Osagie Ize-Iyamu and his Ondo counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, over their plots to use violence to undermine the sanctity of the Edo and Ondo state governorship elections.
“Our party asserts that the position of the US Department of State is a confirmation that 2019 general elections, the November 2019 Kogi governorship election, as well as other elections under the Buhari regime were massively rigged with unrestrained violence against the people and rampant manipulations by the APC and their compromised security agents.
“The world is aware of how our compatriots were killed and maimed in Kano and various parts of our nation in the 2019 elections; how collation of results were compromised by relations of APC candidates and how compromised security operatives were used to frustrate the will of the people.
“Without saying, Nigerians know the individuals who unleashed violence to rig the November 2019 Kogi state governorship election; who deployed thugs and security agents to shoot and kill voters, cart away ballot boxes, used police helicopter to fire tear gas on Nigerians, burnt an innocent woman, Mrs. Salome Abuh, alive, altered election result figures to make themselves winners.
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“The US ban is, therefore, firm support to our stiff resistance to plots by Oshiomhole and Ize-Iyamu, who have been overheating the polity in Edo state with serial attacks on other political parties while assembling thugs, cultists, fake policemen as well as their ‘tigers and lions’ who they publicly instructed to invade polling centres to unleash violence and undermine the electoral process.
“In Ondo, Nigerians are already aware of how the self-confessed APC militant and former APC chairman in the state, Isaac Kekemeke, boasted that the APC will use violence to rig the October 10 election and that Governor Akeredolu was behind the violent political attacks rocking the state.
“It is instructive to note that after Kekemeke’s boast, INEC facility in Akure, Ondo state capital was set ablaze, leading to the destruction of not less than 5141 card readers meant for the election were destroyed.
“Furthermore, Nigerians know the faces of INEC and security officials used as political mercenaries to manipulate elections in Kogi, Ekiti, Osun, and other states. Our party vehemently rejects the deployment of the same individuals to Edo and Ondo.
“The presence of such persons is an invitation to the crisis as the people of Edo and Ondo will use every means available and allowed in a democracy to resist them.”
The party charged INEC and security agencies to strive to go by the rules, stressing that the world is watching their actions and that a shameful end awaits those who undermine the will of the people.
The PDP urged Nigerians, particularly in Edo and Ondo states to remain at alert and strengthen their resolve by voting and firmly defending their votes from the polling and collation centres to the final declaration of results.
It called on them to demonstrate enough determination to unbridle the instrument of resistance to anybody who may attempt to undermine their will at any stage of the electoral process.
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