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General News of Thursday, 17 September 2020

Source: The Guardian

UK visa restriction will ensure transparency in Edo, Ondo polls - NCFront

The National Consultative Front (NCFront) has declared that recent threats by the United Kingdom (UK) to impose sanctions and travel restrictions on politicians who influence rigging or cause violence in the Edo and Ondo states election would ensure transparency in Nigeria’s electoral system.

Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja, conveners of NCFront, Yunusa Tanko and Peter Ameh commended the UK government for the action, describing it as timely.

They, however, said to further compel politicians to play by the rules, the sanctions should include restrictions on their eligibility to travel to the UK, restriction of access to their UK-based assets or prosecution under international law as it did after the 2019 general elections.

They said to ensure free and fair elections in the country there was the need to unbundle the Justice Mohammed Uwais’ report on electoral reforms, which recommended the creation of special courts to try electoral offenders and manipulators.

“We need more concrete action, not just sanctions as the United States (U.S.) and UK have threatened, we need to go back to the drawing board and look into the Justice Uwais report.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) also needed to be unbundled because as it stands, it is overwhelmed by infractions in the country’s electoral processes.

“A process where some persons impose candidates on the electorate against their wish due to their financial capacity or other influences will continue to undermine our democracy,” they said.

The British High Commission in Nigeria had announced the restrictions on its Twitter handle on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 shortly after the U.S. government imposed similar visa restrictions on politicians who orchestrated violence in the recent governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.

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