US visa ban validates electoral fraud claims ― Atiku

The action of the United States in placing visa restrictions on certain categories of Nigerian politicians for their questionable roles in the 2019 general elections is a validation of the claims that the exercise was manipulated, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has observed.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, Paul Ibe, in Abuja on Wednesday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the February 23 election, observed that after the conduct of the exercise, “we maintained that the polls were rigged, not credible and that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar won the elections and that his mandate was stolen.”

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It said: “In the aftermath of the daylight robbery that occurred on Election Day, the regime of General Muhammadu Buhari and its allies went into a propaganda overdrive to deny the obvious. However, it is a truism that no matter how far and fast falsehood, or in this case, rigging, has travelled, it must eventually be overtaken by truth.

“It seems that day has come. After many months of living in denial, the Buhari regime is now faced with the truth in the form of a US visa ban on politicians who undermined Nigeria’s democracy.”

It referred to the US State Department spokesman, Morgan Ortagus, argument which said: “We condemn those whose acts of violence, intimidation, or corruption harmed Nigerians or undermined the democratic process.”

It further quoted Mr Ortagus as saying: “The 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 said: “The above statement is a vindication of our position that the 2019 elections were “undermined” by the actions of state actors and institutions.

“We also wish to thank the United States of America for standing with the Nigerian people against those whose desire it is to truncate our democracy.

“Finally, we urge the Nigerian people 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.”

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