As the gubernatorial elections in Ondo and Edo States draws closer, the universal world is watching and observing to see how things will gradually unfold. It has now become very important that the UN and world powers become interested and pay close attention to how we practice our politics in African and in especially in Nigeria the proposed giants of Africa.
The attention these forthcoming elections are getting from international bodies, is as a result of past precedence and the recent happenings, statements, and political moves from the camps of both APC and PDP, as presently witnessed by the people of the state as well as and reports from independent observers of what is presently happening.
The security threats and rumours of violence and plans of proposed electoral malpractice and rigging, has recently brought about the influx of some political gurus and federal might into the state as obviously witnessed by indigenes especially in terms of security forces and personal all over the state.
The United Kingdom in their own little way has said that they will take actions against individuals who mastermind or encouraged and support any acts of violence during the forth coming gubernatorial elections in Ondo and Edo States respectively.
They stated that the sanction could include restrictions on such offender’s eligibility to travel to UK, restrictions on access to UK based assets, or prosecution under international laws, just as it did after the 2019 elections.
The British High Commission in Nigeria made this comments in a statement published on its twitter handle on Tuesday.
This pronouncement is coming out twenty four hours, (24hrs) after the United States imposed Visa restrictions on the politicians who were allegedly responsible for masterminding the rigging of the gubernatorial elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states.
Catriona Laing, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, said she had held meetings with the leaders of the All Progressive Congress (APC), and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) , on the Saturday governorships election in Edo State.
The Commissioner explained the need for the various political parties to prevail on their supporters to avoid violence before, during, and after the elections.
She went further to state that the UK welcomed the signing of a peace accord by the gubernatorial candidates in the States.
The commission also stated that they would deploy independent observers to both Edo and Ondo States to monitor proceedings during the elections and to ensure that any acts of violence will be noted from infringing parties.
The statement read thus; ”The UK takes a strong stand against election related violence and just as we did in the general elections in 2019. We will continue to take action against individuals we identify as being responsible for violence during elections…
This could serve as a strong warning and deterrent to politicians who enjoys and promotes such acts of violence and delights in rigging, and who sees such practices as the only route to being elected into political offices.
This in the opinions of many Nigerians is a step in the right direction for the political sphere of the nation. It spells a positive growth for democracy which in the views of many was a reality which had never been authentically practiced within the country. For some persons, a cursory look at majority of the elections conducted in the past had been devoid of proper democratic fairness.
Nigerians are happy with this news and warning from the UK, as they recall their experiences of past precedence in terms of the process of computations of elections results and forceful announcements and imposition of certain individuals as eventual winners in the past. These for them, had left very little to be desired so this gesture from the UK is indeed laudable to Nigerians.
Gift Joseph Okpakorese.