The United Kingdom has threatened to ban anyone guilty of electoral violence ahead of the Ondo and Edo governorship elections.
Nigeria’s elections are usually marred with violence occasions by thuggery and snatching of election materials, as was the situation in recent elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
In a statement via its Twitter handle, the UK said it will send observers for the upcoming elections in the two states.
“These elections are important, both as an essential element of effective governance within both states and an indicator of the strength of Nigeria’s democratic institutions.
“We will be deploying observation missions to both the Edo and Ondo elections and supporting civil society led observation.
“This could include restrictions on their eligibility to travel to the UK, restrictions on access to UK based assets or prosecution under international law.
“The UK will continue to provide support and engagement as we move towards these elections. We urge INEC, the Police and all other agencies involved to work together to deliver free, fair and credible elections.”
As we all rebuild from #COVID19, countries must continue to embrace the tenets of #Democracy – Transparency, responsiveness & Accountability. We look forward to seeing peaceful #Edo and #Ondo states elections, where the mandate of the people is respected and protected. pic.twitter.com/qfK1a4xnCh
— UK in Nigeria🇬🇧 (@UKinNigeria) September 15, 2020
It added that Catriona Laing, UK high commissioner to Nigeria, has met with leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during which she called for a hitch-free election.
“The discussions focused on the need for the parties’ leaders to prevail on supporters to avoid violence before and after the elections,” the statement read.
The warning from the UK comes a day after the United States placed a visa ban against individuals who compromised recent governorship elections.
Source: The Cable