We Are Ready To Take Action Against You – British High Commission Sends Message To Politicians
The British High Commission in Nigeria has disapproved the use of inciting ethno-religious languages by some public and political figures during gubernatorial and state assembly elections on March 18.
The Commission expressed it’s worry over the intimidation experience by the electorates during the voting process.
Speaking via a statement on Tuesday on its Twitter page, the UK noted that they observed and received report of voter suppression in numerous voting locations.
They subsequently urged all political leaders to desist from using such languages and also call their spokespersons to order.
She said, ”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.
“We observed incidents of harassment of journalists. Freedom of speech and a free press are 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 ethno-religious 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.”
Speaking further, the Mission insisted that the UK is prepared to take action against those who engage in or incite electoral violence and other anti-democratic behaviours.
The mission said action could include preventing people from obtaining UK visas or imposing sanctions under our human rights sanctions regime.