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US threatens visa ban on sponsors of electoral violence in Anambra

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Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress

The United States says it will not hesitate to issue visa restrictions on those found to be responsible for election-related violence in Anambra State.

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The US said it will be paying close attention to the electoral process in the state and looks forward to a peaceful and transparent poll that will accurately reflect the will of the people.

A pro-secession group, the Indigenous People of Biafra had threatened to disrupt the governorship election slated for Saturday.

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Attacks by gunmen and other hoodlums had also increased across the state, including violent attacks on campaign rallies, as a way of sparking panic and discouraging the residents from going out to vote on election day.

Despite this, the Independent National Electoral Commission has insisted that the poll will hold on Saturday as planned.

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But the US Embassy in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, titled, ‘Statement on the upcoming Anambra elections,’ called on citizens, electoral officials, party members, and security force personnel to do their part in ensuring a credible and secure electoral process.

The statement read, “The United States looks forward to a gubernatorial election in Anambra State on November 6 that is peaceful and transparent, with results that accurately reflect the will of the state’s residents.

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“We will be paying close attention to actions of individuals who interfere with the democratic process or instigate violence against civilian populations before, during, or after the elections.

“We will not hesitate to consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for those found to be responsible for election-related violence or undermining the democratic process.

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“Under US immigration law, certain violations also may lead to restrictions on family members.”

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