The Nigerian government has stated its support for any action, including a visa ban imposed by the United States of America on any Nigerian who threatens the elections in 2023.
At a press conference in Abuja, the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated the government’s position.
“Let me respond to the numerous requests that we have received from the media regarding the decision by the United States of America to slam a visa ban on some Nigerians who are undermining democracy,” the Minister said.
“Let me be clear: whatever action is taken against anyone who undermines this democracy that has been watered by the blood of many of our patriots is right and justified. We are proud to say that no administration since Nigeria’s return to democratic rule in 1999 has shown more fidelity to the democratic process than ours, and no President since 1999 has been as unambiguous, in word and deed, about leaving office after the constitutionally-mandated two terms.
“President Buhari has left no one in doubt of his dogged determination to ensure free, fair and credible elections, handover to a successor elected by Nigerians and then return to Daura after the May 29, 2023 handover date. Mr President still told the Emir of Daura this past Friday, when he visited him, that he would return and settle down in Daura after handing over on May 29, 2023.
“The President has also given unprecedented support to INEC while also signing into law the Electoral Bill 2022 that Nigerians have hailed as a reason to have confidence in the electoral process.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, you must also remember our firm response on this same podium on January 10th 2023 to media inquiries about a widely circulated report, attributed to an INEC official, that the 2023 general elections face a serious threat of cancellation due to insecurity.
“The Federal government’s position remains that the 2023 elections will be held as planned,” we said. Nothing has happened to change my mind.”
“Finally, what we are doing here with our Scorecard Series is another indication of our Administration’s determination to leave office on May 29, 2023. With our honorable Ministers telling Nigerians what we have done since taking office in 2015, we are effectively handing over notes to those who elected us as an Administration as we prepare to leave in May.
As a result, we are proud to have sent clear signals to our people and the rest of the world that we will leave office on May 29, 2023.
“We have not been embroiled in any third-term controversy like the PDP. In fact, we are developing a model for a smooth transition of power that will serve as a guide for future Administrations. Those who undermine our democracy should be sanctioned, and they should bear their own cross. As a government, we have no reason to worry because our hands are clean!”.