The British High Commission has revealed that the UK Minister of State for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell MP, is poised to take action against those who participated in or incited electoral violence in the 2023 elections in Nigeria.
The disclosure was made on Wednesday in a statement made available to pressmen.
It was also disclosed that the United Kingdom is already collating the names of those found culpable and would impose sanctions which will include "preventing people from obtaining UK visas or imposing sanctions under our human rights sanctions regime".
The commission stated that members of its observation mission personally witnessed cases of violence and voter suppression.
However, it commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its improved performance during the governorship and state assembly elections.
“We can confirm that we are collating relevant information, with a view to taking action against some individuals.
“There were notable points of concern. Members of our observation mission personally observed violence, and voter suppression in numerous voting locations.
“We witnessed and received credible reports from other observer missions and civil society organisations of vote buying and voter intimidation, the destruction and hijacking of election materials and the general disruption of the process in numerous states including Lagos, Enugu and Rivers.
“In addition, we observed incidents of harassment of journalists.
“Freedom of speech and a free press is crucial for a healthy democracy, and journalists must be able to go about their work without being threatened.
“The UK is concerned by the use of inflammatory ethnoreligious language by some public and political figures.
“We call on all leaders not just to distance themselves from this kind of language, but to prevent those who speak on their behalf from doing so in this way.
“It is a testament to their commitment to democracy that many Nigerians were prepared to vote despite being faced with intimidation and hostility”, the statement reads.
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