2023 Poll: Be Committed to Peace Accord, UK Envoy Urges Politicians

Ahead of the forthcoming election, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, has urged politicians to respect the peace accord earlier signed.

The British government restated its resolve to sanction any politician that is culpable of inciting violence across the country, adding that Nigerians who are also British nationals will not be exempted from sanctions if they undermine the electoral process.

Laing, who spoke on Thursday in Abuja, asked the head of political parties to signal respect for the outcome of the vote to all their supporters.

She said, “We shall be looking out for anyone who attempts to violate the electoral process and if it is brought to our attention directly that there are people inciting violence or engaging in hate speech, we can use our policies as tools for sanctions.”

The UK envoy, who expressed confidence in security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission, especially with the implementation of the Electoral Act, however, expressed worries that the socio-economic crises occasioned by scarcity of cash across the country are capable of creating violence if not urgently addressed.

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Laing stated, “The election in Nigeria is very important, not only to Nigerian citizens but also to the West African region, the African continent and the whole world. The eyes of the world are on Nigeria and what happens at the election will send a very strong signal.

“So, as a run-up to the election, we will continue to invest in trying to create a condition for a credible, free, fair and secure election. The job primarily is for Nigeria but again, we try to play our part by meeting with INEC and the civil society to ensure that everything is perfect.