2023: CEO of CODE Tells US to Name Those Placed Under Visa Ban

Chief Executive Officer of Connected Development (CODE), Hamzat Lawal has told the United States (US) government to name individuals it placed a visa ban on for undermining the 2023 electoral process.

Lawal made the demand after the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a tweet Monday announced the visa restrictions on some persons.

Blinken in his announcement disclosed that his country remained committed to supporting Nigerian aspirations to strengthen democracy and the rule of law.

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Unsatisfied only by the declaration, Lawal in a live appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today asked the US government the name the affected individuals to shame them.

CODE CEO insisted that by doing so, the decision of the North American nation would be termed greatly transparent, and would further prove that actions have consequences.

He said:

If they had named these names, then the Nigerian people can actually also know that even if our government and some institutions are not acting, the international community are watching and have acted, particularly the American government.

“I think it would have gone a long way. Yes, I can understand that the judicial process is ongoing and maybe they are not publishing these names so they don’t interfere with that process, but I think that they owe it to the Nigerian people who are their friends and partners.

“We should know, so that as civil society, what we’ll now do is inaugurate them in the hall of shame.”

Lawal pointed out that politicians should not be the only ones under visa restrictions.

He said:

We saw private citizens, we saw former lawmakers, we saw, even, law enforcement agencies that are saddled with the responsibility to ensure peace and stability in the country who colluded with corrupt politicians and mischief-makers.”

In his view, as the apex law enforcement agency, the Nigerian police would have prosecuted those who interfered in the electoral process or put them behind bars.

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