UK expresses commitment to credible electoral process in Nigeria
We’re ready to support police for peaceful polls, says Irabor
The British government has said it will sustain support for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to guarantee transparent and credible election in Nigeria.
British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, stated this in Kano at the opening of YIAGA Africa’s ‘Convergence 4.0’, the fourth capacity-building forum for young political aspirants from the 19 Northern states.
Represented by Development Director at British High Commission (BHC), Dr. Christopher Pycroft, the high commissioner said UK government would continue to strengthen INEC’s capacity to deliver credibly and support CSOs to increase citizenship participation at the poll.
Laing, who is worried over the decline of young people’s participation in Nigerian political space, insisted that involvement of the young generation and women is crucial to building a stable and peaceful nation.
She said: “The role of young people in political leadership generally is hugely important for Nigeria’s development and democracy.
“Nigeria is a young. But young people are too often excluded from Nigeria’s political processes. This is starting to change – and we are starting to see the influence of social media transform the political processes in ways we are yet to fully understand.”
Laing applauded YIAGA Africa and its partners for their efforts in bringing together an enthusiastic cohort of young people, experts and stakeholders for the programme, adding that the UK government would sustain the support for the Not-Too-Young-To-Run movement through its various phases.
The Executive Director, YIAGA Africa, Samson Itodo, regretted how young people were being sidelined by the older generation in political affairs, despite their large population.
Similarly, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, has assured that the military will work closely with the police towards the success of the 2023 general election.
Irabor gave the assurance while speaking with newsmen in Jos, Plateau State, after commissioning some landmark projects initiated by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3 Division, Nigerian Army, and Commander Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), Maj-Gen. Ibrahim Ali.
The CDS added that the operational activities of the military would contribute to providing a peaceful ambience for the exercise.
He said: “We are working closely with the police, which is the leading agency for electioneering issues. We equally believe that the operational activities we are conducting will contribute to providing the ambience for a peaceful conduct of that exercise.
“We will support the exercise; 2023 is good in terms of engagements we have had and successes we have built upon, and we would sustain the effort.”
At the ceremony, the CDS expressed satisfaction with the projects, adding that they would boost the morale of troops and strengthen their commitment to the fight against insecurity in the joint operation area.
He disclosed that the visit to OPSH would motivate personnel across other theatres of operation to improve their operational effectiveness and professional conduct.