2023 POLLS: UK cautions political parties, supporters against violence
In efforts to ensure free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria, the United Kingdom has urged political parties as well as their supporters to shun violence.
This plea was on the backdrop of reports of party supporters engaging in violence during campaign rallies as the elections beckon.
The National Peace Committee (NPC) had also condemned the inflammatory attitude of politicians as well as violence at campaigns ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The committee urged political parties and candidates to abide by the provisions of the Peace Accord in order to ensure violence-free and credible polls.
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, who spoke on an Arise TV’s Morning Show on Tuesday, reiterated the commitment of the United Kingdom to credible elections in Nigeria.
Laing stressed the need for political parties as well as their supporters to shun violence ahead of polls in the interest of democracy.
READ ALSO:2023: Again, UK threatens promoters of violence with visa ban
She also charged the security agencies on neutrality during the electoral process.
Laing said: “This is a message to be repeated. Everyone must be involved in the security of the elections. A lot is at stake in Nigeria. Nobody should be intimidated by any means. We urge political leaders to behave responsibly. Security agencies must play non-partisan role in order to make the process transparent.
“We are watching closely and will not allow the process to be manipulated. Nigeria faces numerous challenges. The time is now to tackle them by taking tough decisions.”
On strengthening the partnership between Nigeria and the United Kingdom, Laing argued that foreign investors are discouraged by the crises of multiple exchange rates and fuel subsidy in Nigeria.
She expressed confidence that the next President would remove the bottlenecks in order to give space for the country’s economic development.
“The country must deepen trade partnership with others. And this means that the fundamentals have to be all right. The microeconomic environment must be stable. You need to remove subsidy and multiple exchange rates for this to happen. Almost all the presidential candidates have promised this. We hope they do it”, she concluded.
By Ambali Abdulkabeer
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