The United Kingdom (UK) has pledged to support Nigeria both in ensuring the smooth conduct of the 2023 general elections and in sustaining her democracy.
Newsbreak.ng reports that the UK Development Director, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, Chris Pycroft, made this promise on Monday at the Northern Peace Conference on the 2023 general elections in Abuja.
The programme was organised by the 2Baba Foundation in partnership with the J-Dev Foundation and the Child Protection and Peer Learning Initiative.
Pycroft said the survival of democracy in Nigeria is critical to Africa and the world at large.
He also said fears over the forthcoming election have heightened in Nigeria over the past few years even as he called on all stakeholders, particularly politicians to commit to peaceful conduct before, during and after the elections.
“As we approach the polls next year, attacks on INEC facilities and personnel, violent clashes between opposing members of political parties or broader security challenges are all factors that threaten the peaceful and inclusive and successful execution of the elections.
“The largest democracy in Africa occupies a critical place in efforts to consolidate democracy elsewhere across the world. Credible, useful elections will deepen citizens’ trust and reinforce the foundations for democratic consolidation in Nigeria,” he said.
According to the diplomat, a peaceful environment enables people to cast their votes on election day, without fear of harm, intimidation, or coercion.
Some of the personalities who attended the event included the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu; Northern Elders Forum’s spokesperson, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed; former Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh; among others.