As the Ondo and Edo governorship elections draw near, the United Kingdom has read the riot act to political actors and stakeholders.
The country threatened to deem anyone who forment trouble and incite violence during the elections persona non grata and ban them coming into the country.
nyone guilty of electoral violence ahead of the Ondo and Edo governorship elections.
The UK Embassy issued the threat in Nigeria in a statement on Tuesday. also
Aside from banning anyone guilty of electoral violence, it threatened to confiscate overseas properties of such persons.
Nigeria’s elections are usually typified by widespread violence occasioned by thuggery and snatching of election materials, as was the situation in recent elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
In the statement via its Twitter handle, the UK said it will send observers for the upcoming elections in the two states.
“As a friend and partner of Nigeria we are closely following the lead up to the off-cycle governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states scheduled for September 19 and October 10 respectively,” it said.
“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.
“The UK takes a strong stand against election-related violence and, just as we did in the general election in 2019, will continue to take action against individuals we identify as being responsible for violence during the elections.
“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 UK high commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, has met with leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during which she reiterated the need and importance 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.
“And we welcome the Edo candidates’ signature of the National Peace Committee and INEC convened peace accord.”