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Thursday, January 24, 2019

UK warns against attempt to influence Nigeria elections, lists consequences

The British High Commission has warned that serious consequences await politicians and their supporters who attempt to influence or incite violence during the 2019 election.

A statement sent to the media on Thursday by the mission noted that the UK is a friend and partner of Nigeria and will continue to help Nigeria take a further step towards consolidating the progress made since democracy returned in 1999. 

It reads: “23 days to the Presidential and National Assembly elections and 37 days to the Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections, the British High Commission in Abuja would like to reaffirm our strong support for free, fair and peaceful elections in Nigeria.

“We and our international partners remain committed supporters of Nigeria’s democracy. We do not support any party or individual and believe that the Nigerian people should be able to choose their leaders in an environment free from hate speech and insecurity.

“We continue to provide significant support to Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission and to Nigerian civil society to help them deliver credible elections.

“We also regularly engage with actors across the political spectrum to encourage them to respect electoral rules and maintain an atmosphere of peace and calm.

“We will be deploying an extensive observation mission for the forthcoming elections, including coordinating with the EU’s Election Observation Mission.

“Our monitors will, in particular, be looking out for any attempts to encourage or use violence to influence the elections, including on social media.

“We would like to remind all Nigerians that where the UK is aware of such attempts, this may have consequences for individuals.

“These could include their eligibility to travel to the UK, their ability to access UK based funds or lead to prosecution under international law.”

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