Barely 24 hours after the United States of America announced a slew of sanctions against election riggers in Bayelsa and Kogi states, and another set against some politicians for fomenting trouble in the run-up to the Ondo and Edo elections, the United Kingdon has announced its readiness to deal with whoever is found to have caused violence before and after the elections in Ondo and Edo states.
Announcing this on Tuesday on its official Twitter handle, the UK said it will send observers for the upcoming elections in both states and might consider restrictions on travels to the UK, access to UK-based assets and prosecution of whoever is found to have caused violence in the two elections.
The Tweet reads: “As we all rebuild from #COVID19, countries must continue to embrace the tenets of #Democracy – Transparency, responsiveness and accountability.
“We look forward to seeing peaceful #Edo and #Ondo states elections, where the mandate of the people is respected and protected.”
The statement said the UK High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing has met with the leaders of the two major political parties, APC and PDP and reiterated the need to have an election that is devoid of any violence.
“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.
“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.
“And we welcome the Edo candidates’ signature of the National Peace Committee and INEC convened peace accord.”