US Travel Ban Confirms 2019 Elections Were Marred by Malpractice, Says Atiku

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Atiku Abubakar

By Chuks Okocha in Abuja

Former vice president and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general election, Atiku Abubakar, has said that the imposition of travel ban on some categories of Nigerians by the United States has confirmed his claims that the February/March elections were marred by irregularities.

A statement signed by his media aide, Paul Ibe, said, “after the conduct of the February 23, 2019 Nigerian Presidential elections, we maintained that the polls were rigged, not credible and that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar won the elections and that his mandate was stolen.

“In the aftermath of the daylight robbery that occurred on Election Day, the regime of General Muhammadu Buhari and its allies went into a propaganda overdrive to deny the obvious. However, it is a truism that no matter how far and fast falsehood, or in this case, rigging, has traveled, it must eventually be overtaken by truth”.

The statement said, “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 who spoke on the ban by the US Embassy said, 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”.

According to Atiku, “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.

“Finally, we urge the Nigerian people not to despair. There is hope on the horizon. There is light at the end of the tunnel. The myriad of security, economic and social challenges Nigeria currently faces, which has resulted in our nation becoming the world headquarters for extreme poverty will, God wiling, soon be over, with the prospect of purposeful and result oriented leadership”, Atiku stated..