The Democracy Vanguard of Nigeria in Diaspora (DVND) has called on the United States to impose a visa ban on those senators that opposed electronic transmission of election results in Nigeria.
Led by Comrade Timothy Sule, the group also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to withhold assent to the amended Electoral Amendment Act.
The affected lawmakers are the 52 that voted against the initiative and the 28 others that abstained. The appeal was contained in a letter dated July 18, 2021 and addressed to the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, copies which were sent to United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, Acting Assistant Secretary, Ambassador Robert Godec and Deputy Assistant Secretary, Akunna Cook.
The body faulted the lawmakers that said their position was informed by poor GSM network in the country that could disenfranchise a good number of Nigerians if electronic voting and collation are adopted.
“This noble intention was vehemently and vigorously challenged by some legislators from a particular zone and political party. These unpatriotic elements eventually succeeded in throwing it into the abyss,” DVND said.
According to the correspondence, “the action is shameful, disdainful and completely reprehensible. It smacks of a clear contempt for the Nigerian people.”
The petitioner continued: “We call on the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Canada, African Union and all allies to take urgent action to nip this brewing conflagration in the bud before it consumes the nation and creates a massive refugee crisis in the world.
“In the meantime, we have attached names of all those legislators who played one role or the other in the suppression and undermining of democracy in Nigeria for a visa ban. Their family members shall not be spared of the impending visa ban as well.
“In closing, we, at DVND, are willing to be of assistance where applicable to help realise our request for the protection of democratic norms and the sanctity of all electoral processes in Nigeria.”
The organisation further said: “We condemn in strong terms, those who are bent on seeing Nigeria on its knees through the facade of an election process that is characterised by manipulations and mishandlings by those who should be the true custodians of the process.
“We would like to commend the very few progressive opposition legislators in the Senate and the House of Representatives, led by Senator Ehinanya Abaribe and Ndudi Elumelu, who stood for Nigeria when the occasion demanded.
“Those who exempted themselves from the chamber without a valid reason are equally reprimanded and condemned. Those, who were conspicuously absent, are no better than those who shot the amendment down with their selfish and insensitive agenda. Nigerians now know the true enemies of your great country and at the appropriate time, they will receive their reward in equal measures.”