Femi Fani-Kayode, a prominent member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has shared his thoughts on the recent decision by the United States to impose a visa ban on Nigerians accused of undermining the integrity of the country’s recent general elections.
As reported earlier by this newspaper, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Monday that visa restrictions have been placed on specific individuals believed to have compromised the democratic process during the elections.
Following this announcement, various stakeholders urged the US government to reveal the identities of the politicians affected by the ban.
In response, Fani-Kayode issued a statement on Tuesday, downplaying the significance of the development. He emphasized that only Nigerian courts have the authority to determine whether the elections were marred by any form of manipulation.
The statement reads in part, “Those that have imposed a visa ban on some “selected Nigerians” for allegedly “undermining democracy” and “rigging elections” are perfectly within their rights to do so because it is their country and they can do as they please.
“We should lose no sleep over that because the Nigerian people, a great and sovereign people who belong to a great and sovereign nation, spoke loudly and clearly and made their legitimate choices during the course of a set of free, fair and credible elections.
“Wherever any of those elections may have been rigged or democracy undermined can only be properly determined by our election tribunals and courts after all the facts and evidence have been adduced, examined and determined and not by any distant and/or partisan foreign government or power.
“It is also my view that foreign policy, which ought to be based on the principle of equality of nations and conducted on the basis of reciprocity, requires the Nigerian Federal Government to consider the possibility of doing the same to nationals of those that have implemented and announced this measure and issue a visa ban to any foreign citizen or member of any corporate entity or institution that may have indulged in undermining democracy or rigging elections in either their own or any other country in the world over the last 25 years”.