Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election, says US visa ban on politicians who “sabotaged the electoral process” is a confirmation that the election was marred by irregularities.
The US announced the visa restriction on Tuesday, but did not disclose the identities of those affected.
Atiku, who spoke through Paul Ibe, his media aide, said the action of the US has vindicated his position that the polls were not credible.
“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,” Atiku said.
“Speaking on the ban, the US State Department in a statement by its spokesman, Morgan Ortagus on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, stated that ‘we condemn those whose acts of violence, intimidation, or corruption harmed Nigerians or undermined the democratic process.’
“Speaking further, Mr. Ortagus said, ‘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.’
“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.”
Atiku is currently challenging Buhari’s victory at the tribunal.