From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, has urged heads of political parties in Nigeria to commit to respecting the outcome of the forthcoming elections.
Laing also asked head of political parties to signal the respect of the outcomes of the votes to all their supporters.
The British envoy who briefed journalists in Abuja, yesterday, said the election in Nigeria was important, not just to Nigerians, but Africa and the world.
Laing who lamented the backsliding of democracy in West Africa, said what happens in the 2023 Nigerian election would send a strong signal to the rest of the world.
She said it was crucial that on February 25 and March 11, the electorate are made to feel free to go out and exercise their democratic rights to vote freely, fairly and without intimidation.
“So that means the heads of the political parties in particular, must commit to respect the outcome of the vote and signal that to all of their supporters.”
Laing recalled that in the run up to the Nigerian election, the UK has continued to invest in creating better conditions for a credible, free and fair and secured election in the country.
He said the UK has worked very closely with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and with civil society groups to ensure they were of faithful purpose.
Laing admonished political parties that if they are going to contest anything arising from any dispute, they should go through the judicial process and not through any violence.
She said the Peace Accord signed on September 29, 2022, was important even as she expressed the feeling that there will be a second signing on February 23rd and she will be there representing the United Kingdom.
She said the UK is very confident that INEC has prepared early and it is in good shape.