President Muhammadu Buhari has come under attack for rejecting the travel bans imposed on election manipulators and riggers in the country.
The Buhari led government had in a reaction to the ban by the US and UK on underminers of the November 2019 governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states said it considers it disrespectful to the sovereignty of the country for any government outside the country to apply punitive measures such as visa restriction on its citizens.
Reacting, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) said Buhari who is the appointing authority of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should by right be also involved in the VISA BANS by the foreign jurisdictions.
The rights group while commending the decision of the two nations said it was gratifying that both countries expressed their intention to take decisive actions against those involved in ‘undermining democracy’.
It explained that the two nations did not go far enough in punishing election manipulators in Nigeria.
HURIWA denied claims by the Nigerian Government that Nigeria has enough laws against election riggers, noting that there is no record to show that any of the officials who manipulated elections in Nigeria since 1999 has ever been sanctioned.
HURIWA said: “For the Federal Government in a statement issued by the Spokesperson of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand Nwonye, to have stated that it would be considered disrespectful to the sovereignty of Nigeria for any outside authority to sit in judgment over the conduct of its citizens and apply punitive measures such as visa restriction, unilaterally, this shows actually that election manipulators are the people calling the shots in the different layers of governments in Nigeria because only a criminal will reject well-grounded sanctions imposed on criminals.
A statement signed by the National Coordinator of the rights group, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko further stated that Buhari is partisan and has supervised an electoral body that has become notorious for conducting inconclusive elections for good five years.