US Visa Ban Echoes Buhari’s Global Popularity – BMO
The visa restriction order imposed on a category of Nigerian politicians by the United States government, which clearly exonerated the present administration in the country, is another indication of President Muhammadu Buhari’s acceptance and popularity in the comity of nations.
According to the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) it is instructive that the United States is taking the step in spite of efforts by opposition figures led by the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar, to turn the US government against the newly elected government with false narratives.
BMO said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, that the US State Department’s position showed the futility of the opposition’s efforts to demonise the government before, during and after the 2019 elections.
“We acknowledge the decision by the American government to impose visa ban on individuals responsible for undermining the last electoral process or organising election-related violence. It is in line with a warning the US issued before the election, and we note that it is within the rights of the Americans to do so.
“And by making it clear that the actions are not directed at the government that emerged from the process, the US has tacitly cleared the Buhari administration of involvement in acts of political violence inspite of efforts by lobbyists engaged by the PDP to taint the President’s victory.
“This is a welcome decision considering that the US specifically targeted officials of the Venezuelan government and their family members when it imposed visa restrictions on the country in the wake of recent election in that country,” it added.
The pro-Buhari group expressed hope that the visa restriction would cover individuals who threatened violence if their candidates failed to win the last elections, as well as others who freely used hate speech on social and traditional media in the run up to the election.
BMO said: “Nigerians can easily recall how some highly placed opposition figures told the world before the Presidential election that the spate of violence in the country would increase if President Buhari was re-elected for a second term.
“That comment was not only inciting but also ominous in a country with a history of post-election violence. Like many Nigerians, we drew attention to the irresponsible and unguarded statement and urged the opposition party to caution its members, but surprisingly it did not see anything wrong with it.
“There was also a slew of hate speeches on social media by key opposition figures and there was also at least one instance where an opposition spokesman in Kaduna State was filmed instigating party loyalists to take up arms against members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
“And although U.S. privacy regulations prohibit the American government from naming the individuals affected by the restrictions, we hope that they would be meticulous in identifying individuals who actually fomented violence during and after the election.”
BMO also welcomed Washington’s expression of its commitment to work with President Buhari to strengthen democracy, end corruption and improve respect for human rights.
“It is particularly reassuring that the US is extending a hand of fellowship to the Buhari administration to stamp out corruption in the country”, BMO added.