The Nigerian Government has declared support of any action including a visa ban by the United States of America imposed on any Nigerian who threatens the 2023 elections.
The Minister of Information Alhaji Lai Mohammed made the position of the government known at a press conference in Abuja.
The Minister said: “Let me respond to the numerous requests that we have received from the media on the decision by the United States of America to slam a visa ban on some Nigerians who are undermining democracy.
“Let me be clear: whatever action is taken against anyone who undermines this democracy that has been watered by the blood of many of our patriots is right and justified. Us as a government, we are proud to say that no Administration since Nigeria’s return to democratic rule in 1999 has shown more fidelity to the democratic process than ours, and no President since 1999 has been as unambiguous as President Muhammadu Buhari, in word and in deed, with regards to leaving office after the constitutionally-stipulated two terms.
“President Buhari has left no one in doubt of his dogged determination to ensure free, fair and credible elections, handover to a successor elected by Nigerians and then return to Daura after the May 29, 2023 handover date. As recently as this past Friday, when he visited the Emir of Daura, Mr President still told the Emirate that he would return and settle down in Daura after handing over on May 29, 2023.
“The President has also given unprecedented support to INEC while also signing into law the Electoral Bill 2022 that Nigerians have hailed as a reason to have confidence in the electoral process.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, you must also not forget our firm response on this same podium on Jan. 10th 2023 to inquiries from the media over a widely-circulated report, credited to an INEC official, that the 2023 general elections face a serious threat of cancellation due to insecurity. We said and I quote, ”the position of the Federal government remains that the 2023 elections will be held as planned. Nothing has happened to change that position.”
“Finally, what we are doing here with our Scorecard Series is another indication of our Administration’s determination to leave office on May 29, 2023. With our Honourable Ministers telling Nigerians what we have done since assuming office in 2015, we are in essence presenting our handover notes to those who elected us as an Administration as we prepare to leave in May. We are therefore proud that we have sent unambiguous signals to our people and indeed to the world that we will leave office come May 29, 2023.
“We have not been mired in any third-term controversy like was witnessed under the PDP. In fact, we are creating the template for a smooth transition of power that will guide future Administrations. Let those who undermine our democracy be sanctioned, and let them carry their own cross. As a government, we have no reason to worry because our hands are clean!”.