Wednesday, 16 September 2020 05:07

UK vows to place visa ban, seize assets of election riggers in Edo, Ondo

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United Kingdom has threatened to ban anyone guilty of electoral violence ahead of the Ondo and Edo governorship elections.

In a statement on Tuesday, UK embassy in Nigeria also threatened to seize overseas assets of such persons.

Nigeria’s elections are usually marred with violence manifesting in thuggery and snatching of election materials, as was the situation in recent elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.

In a statement via its Twitter handle, 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 Edo and Ondo elections and supporting civil society-led observation.

“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.

“UK will continue to provide support and engagement as we move towards these elections. We urge INEC, Police and all other agencies involved to work together to deliver free, fair and credible elections.”

It added that Catriona Laing, UK high commissioner to Nigeria, has met with leaders of All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during which she called 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 National Peace Committee and INEC convened peace accord.”

The warning from the UK comes a day after the United States placed a visa ban on individuals who compromised recent governorship elections.

 

The Cable