Edo, Ondo Elections: UK To Sanction Sponsors Of Violence

BEVERLY HILLS, September 15, (THEWILL) – The United Kingdom on Tuesday warned those who plan to cause violence during the Edo and Ondo State governorship elections, saying it may impose travel restrictions on the perpetrators.

The Edo State governorship election is scheduled to hold on September 19 while that of Ondo holds October 10.

In a statement by the British High Commission in Nigeria, the UK said it would take actions against individuals identified as being responsible for violence during the elections, which it said may include a restriction on their eligibility to travel to the UK and restriction on access to UK-based assets while not ruling out a prosecution under international law.

The UK said “as a friend and partner of Nigeria, we are closely following the lead up to the off-cycle governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States scheduled for September 19 and October 10 respectively. These elections are important both as an essential element of effective governance within both states and an indicator of the strength of Nigeria’s democratic institutions.

“Our High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, has held meetings with leaders of the two main political parties, the APC and PDP. The discussions focused on the need for the parties’ leaders to prevail on supporters to avoid violence before and after the elections and we welcome the Edo candidates’ signature of the National Peace Committee and INEC convened peace accord today.

“We will be deploying observation missions to both the Edo and Ondo elections and supporting civil society led observation. The UK takes a strong stand against election-related violence and, just as we did in the general election in 2019, will continue to take actions against individuals we identify as being responsible for violence during the elections.

“This could include restrictions on their eligibility to travel to the UK, restriction on access to UK based assets or prosecution under international law.

“The UK will continue to provide support and engagement as we move towards these elections. We urge INEC, the police and all other agencies involved to work together to deliver free, fair and credible elections”, the statement reads.