Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The United States Government, yesterday, said it was not aware of a protest letter by the Government of Kogi State over the recent visa ban on some persons undermining democratic processes in Nigeria.
Spokesperson for the Embassy of the US, Jeanne Clark, stated this while responding to inquiry by Daily Sun on the subject.
Clark, however, said the letter might be working its way through screening at the embassy.
US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, had last week, imposed visa ban on election offenders during the November, 2019 election in Kogi and Bayelsa states. Following the announcement, Kogi State government, protested the ban in a letter dated September 16 by the Secretary to the Kogi State Government, Folashade Ayoade addressed to the US Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria
Ayoade said the least the US could have done, if indeed the ban was about democracy and human rights, was to create room, no matter how slim, for fair hearing.
But Clark said: “We are not in receipt of the governor’s letter, but it might be working its way through our screening.”
Probed further on if the US might re-evaluate the process leading to the ban as a result of the protest letter, Clark said: “We have nothing further regarding the visa sanctions beyond the Secretary’s statement.”
A statement by the spokesperson, US Department of State, Morgan Ortagus, that announced the ban said the country remained committed to working with Nigeria to advance democracy and respect for human rights and achieve greater peace and prosperity for both nations.