Impose Travel Ban on Sponsors of Violence in Edo Polls, CSO Tells EU

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By Ndubuisi Francis

The Centre for Social and Inter-Ethnic Cohesion (CENSIC) has called on the European Union (EU) to impose travel restrictions on any Nigerian connected to violent activities in the just-concluded election in Edo State as well as upcoming polls in the country.

In a statement signed by its Director of Media, Mr. Wellington Olaiya, the group appealed to the EU to strengthen its ties with the international media to be able to identify such individuals.

CENSIC’s call followed serious concerns over security and electoral malpractices trailing past and recent elections in the country.

While commending the United States of America and the United Kingdom for considering travel ban and assets forfeiture for such individuals, the group also stressed the need for extensive collaboration across international borders to bring perpetrators of such political violence in Nigeria to justice.

“The European Union would help strengthen local and international efforts at significantly reducing election violence in Nigeria, thereby managing the fragile stability in the West African region,” the statement said.

According to the group, such a proactive action would not only serve as a deterrence to future engagements in election violence, but also mount serious pressure on Nigerians in the quest for peace and justice.

The United States had already placed restrictions on certain individuals, who undermined elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States, although the identities of such people are yet to be revealed.

The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, had last week stated that the confidentiality associated with visa applications was the reason a list of sanctioned Nigerians was not published.

CENSIC however demands that such sanctions must transcend visa bans not only on such individuals, but their immediate family members, assets seizures as well as publication of names of those affected.

In the same vein, the United Kingdom has concluded plans to restrict such individuals as well as seize their assets.
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