Ahead of Saturday’s presidential election, the government of the United Kingdom, on Tuesday, raised the alarm about moves by some elements to subvert democratic processes in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s general elections hold in February and March 2023.
The UK government, however, said it is closely monitoring the run-up to the elections.
UK Minister of State for Development & Africa, Andrew Mitchell, in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, ahead of the 2023 general elections, explained how important Nigeria is to the UK.
The statement quoted Mitchell as saying, “The UK is aware of attempts to subvert democratic processes at the National or State level.
“We are prepared to take action against those who engage in or incite electoral violence and other anti-democratic behaviours.
“These actions could include preventing people from obtaining UK visas or imposing sanctions under our human rights sanctions regime.”
The UK government reiterated its commitment to supporting credible and inclusive elections, adding that the success of the election was fundamental to Nigeria’s continued democratic growth and the future of regional and global democracy.
“Nigeria matters to the UK, and we are following the run-up to these Presidential, National Assembly and Gubernatorial elections very closely,” the minister said.
The UK Government also promised to continue to work closely with INEC and Nigerian civil society partners to provide advisory support on electoral and legal reforms, assist in strengthening democratic institutions, and advocate for the importance of civil society engagement in electoral and democratic processes to help deliver credible elections.
The UK government, which called for free, fair, and credible elections, urged all actors in Nigeria to intervene proactively to calm any tensions and prevent violence in the periods before, during and after the elections.