Ahead of the Anambra State gubernatorial election on Saturday, the United States (US) has threatened sanctions, including visa restrictions on anyone who interferes with the democratic process or instigates violence against civilian populations before, during, or after the elections.
This warning was contained in a statement on Wednesday by the Public Affairs Section of the United States Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria.
According to the brief communique, certain violations may also lead to restrictions on relatives of the electoral offenders and the families of those who may instigate violence at the polls.
“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.
“Under U.S. immigration law, certain violations also may lead to restrictions on family members,” the statement partly read.
The US government, however, noted that it is anticipating a free and fair election that will be peaceful with results that accurately reflect the will of the Anambra residents.
Citizens, electoral officials, party members, and security force personnel were all urged by the American government to play their part in ensuring a credible and secure electoral process.