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Lekki shootings: United States reaffirms visa ban policy for anti-democratic forces

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The United States may impose visa ban on persons found culpable in the shooting of peaceful #EndSARS protesters in Lekki, Lagos state on Tuesday.

Military men who were deployed to the Lekki toll gate to quell protests had opened fire on protesters ahead of the curfew imposed by Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The governor however, denied giving an order for soldiers to shot at the protesters.

“For clarity, it is imperative to explain that no sitting governor controls the rules of engagement of the military. I have, nonetheless, ordered an investigation into the rules of engagement adopted by men of the Nigerian Army that were deployed to the Lekki tollgate last night,” he said.

In light of the incident, The PUNCH subsequently sent an email inquiry to the US Foreign Mission to Nigeria on whether those found wanting in the shootings would be banned from visiting the US.

The email enquiry read, “With regard to the shootings at the Lekki toll plaza in Lagos and attack on protesters in various parts of the country, will the United States Government be considering a visa ban on persons found wanting in the last few weeks?”

In its response, the embassy stated, “We stand by Secretary Pompeo’s statement of October 8, 2020: Adherence to these democratic norms and to the rule of law allows all citizens to engage in political dialogue and support their choice of candidates, parties, and platforms.

“We will watch closely the actions of individuals who interfere in the democratic process and will not hesitate to consider consequences – including visa restrictions.”

Senior officials of US government had on Thursday met with Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and expressed displeasure over the shootings.

Although the Nigerian Army had denied deploying soldiers to the protest ground, the US officials demanded that officers behind the shootings be brought to justice.

 
 
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