FORMER Vice President and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the February 23 election, Atiku Abubakar, has described the current travel ban imposed by the American government of some politicians in Nigeria as a confirmation of his assertion that the presidential election was rigged in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement in Abuja, Wednesday, by his media aide, Mr. Paul Ibe, the former Vice President stated that despite the evidence before everyone, Buhari and his allies have continued to engage in propaganda to deny that the election was rigged.
While maintaining his stand that the presidential polls was not credible, he said that the Buhari administration has been confronted with the truth in the form of a US visa ban on politicians who undermined Nigeria’s democracy.
He further noted that the statement by the US State Department, Morgan Ortagus, saying, ‘We condemn those whose acts of violence, intimidation, or corruption harmed Nigerians or undermined the democratic process,’ supported his position that the 2019 elections were undermined by the actions of state actors and institutions.
The State Department had noted that: “The US 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.”
Atiku urged Nigerians “not to despair. There is hope on the horizon. There is light at the end of the tunnel. 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 willing, soon be over, with the prospect of purposeful and result-oriented leadership.
He said, “We also wish to thank the United States of America for standing with the Nigerian people against those whose desire is to truncate our democracy.
In imposing the travel ban, the US Department of State did not list the names of the individuals or say how many were affected by the visa ban, but it clearly pointed out that it was for those who undermined the process.
Morgan Ortagus, has stated that: “The Department of State emphasises that the actions announced are specific to certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people or the newly elected government.”