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UK govt watching Nigeria polls closely –Envoy

The United Kingdom said it is monitoring next year’s Nigeria general elections and would not hesitate to apply sanctions on violators of the electoral process. British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mrs Catriona Lang, who led a delegation on a visit to the national secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday, condemned incidences of violence witnessed in the ongoing political party campaigns. Lang expressed concern that the campaigns have recorded 52 electoral violence in 22 states, “including an attack on the PDP convoy in Maiduguri.”

The British envoy told the PDP leadership that next year’s Nigerian election “is very important to Africa and parts of the world,” adding that “the spotlight will be on Nigeria, and the UK will be watching closely.” She added that apart from visa ban on perpetrators of election violence, it would be extended to “any individual who acts vio- lently or just incite people through the social media. We do have the possibility of using our visas as sanction by removing people’s rights to visit the UK.

“We will be watching closely. This applies to all the political parties, not just the parties, but security officials and anybody who might be in that position. “The real important thing is to get the votes out, whatever political party you are, the election will be credible, if the votes are high. It was low last time, around 35 per cent,” the envoy said. She described the registration of young voters as “real positive, and we hope that they would turn out to vote on the day of election, because it will make the election much more credible.” PDP National Secretary, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, who represented the National Chairman Dr Iyorchia Ayu, expressed the belief that the party would win next year’s presidential election. Anyanwu decried the sufferings of the Nigerian people since 2015, which he said, were caused by the misgovernance of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).




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