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(JUST IN) Election violence : UK govt collates list of Nigerians for visa ban


The United Kingdom (UK) Government has commenced the compilation of list Nigerians that will be slammed with visa ban over their roles in the promotion of violence and other elements of fraud in the just conducted elections in the country.

This is contained in a a statement issued on Wednesday by the British High Commission in Nigeria.

The statement signed by the Senior Communications and Public Diplomacy Officer, Atinuke Akande-Alegbe, reads : “The UK Minister of State for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell MP, said on 21 March , that the UK is prepared to take action against those who engage in or incite electoral violence and other anti-democratic behaviours, and action could include preventing people from obtaining UK visas or imposing sanctions under our human rights sanctions regime.

“We can confirm that we are collating relevant information, with a view to taking action against some individuals,” the statement read.

The High Commission, however, lauded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for improved performance in the governoship elections when compared to the presidential poll three weeks ago.

“More polling units opened on time, there was greater evidence of BVAS and IREV working and results uploaded in real time from polling units and collation centres. These are positive markers to build on for future elections,” it said even as it decried high level of violence witnessed in the polls. .

“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 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,” the statement added.



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