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2023: UK Govt Speaks On Who Should Become Next President Of Nigeria

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Catriona Laing

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing has advocated that the next president of Nigeria should be a young person.

Apart from being a young person, the diplomat was also of the opinion that whoever would emerge as the next president of Nigeria should have a female vice president.

She said this during her visit to Rivers State where she met with Governor Nyesom Wike and spoke on her expectations for the 2023 general elections in the country.

While noting that a perfect election is not what the outside world is asking from Nigeria, Laing noted that the 2023 election must be better than the 2019 polls.

She said; “2023 is not alright. What happens in the elections is very crucial, not just for Nigeria, but Africa to the world. You (Nigeria) are a large democracy.

“It doesn’t have to be a perfect election. There would be problems, but we want it to be better than the last one. We want it to be secure, peaceful, the process should be run well, and you need to get people to register.”

She added that “My ideal candidates would be two younger presidential candidates, both with female vice presidential candidates,” apparently referring to the two leading political parties.

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria also warned that those who disrupt the 2023 elections will be denied UK visa.

Laing further appealed to Governor Wike and his predecessor, the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi to ensure peace prevails in Rivers State.

She said, “I do have some sympathy for Nigeria because if we as UK have one of these problems your country is having today, we will be struggling. Here, you deal with everything, from insurgency to kidnapping, to piracy off the Gulf of Guinea and you don’t have such a large army and police force for a country of this size.

“The only way you turn this thing around is that government has to build the trust of its people, to have the people working with the government to deal with criminality. That’s how successful anti-criminal operations work.

“People willingly report those committing crime, working with police to identify criminals, same with the military on the insurgency situation. It’s only when the community is on the side of the police and security services that they can turn around the situation.”

To Wike and Amaechi, she said: “It is essential that there’s a peaceful election in Rivers State. It’s going to be a crucial part of his (Wike) legacy, how the election goes in this state. We’ve been saying the same thing to Amaechi.

“Another thing we will be doing is to remind people that if people do incite violence or act violently, we will be prepared to deny them visas to the UK. We will make that statement clear and say it over again.”

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