2023: International community 'll be watching Nigeria – British envoy – Daily Sun

From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, has said the international community will be watching the 2023 general elections in Nigeria with keen interest.
Laing stated this yesterday, in Abuja, when he visited the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
The British envoy noted that the election matters to the country, Africa and the world at large, stressing that Nigeria is one of the largest democracies in the world.
“Our aspiration is for 2023 to be a credible election that the people of Nigeria have confidence in.
“We will not be taking a stand beyond that. Obviously we’ll be following the interests the manifestos and the policy and hoping for good policy that will enable Nigeria to move forward and take its rightful place in the global community.”
According to her, “one of the challenges in Nigeria has been low turnout, you know, what we can we do collectively to inspire the youth to believe in their politics and in the future of their country. We look forward to see  how much this election matters.
“Nigeria has been on the democratic journey since 1999. And that, in itself is something to be very proud of.  You are in a region, unfortunately, where the democracy is backsliding.
“I know in Nigeria, your president has taken a very clear forward position on that, and in ECOWAS and so on.”
She added “so the world will be watching this election, and hoping it goes well. So it matters, obviously, for the people of Nigeria,  it matters for Africa, and it matters for the world. You are one of the largest democracies globally.”
Ayu, while speaking during the visit, said the expectations of the PDP is that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other state institutions that will be involved in the 2023 polls will be neutral.
The opposition leader said it is obvious that Nigerians are yearning for the return of the PDP to power in 2023.
He said: “We expect all umpires institutions including the Independent National  Electoral Commission to  carry  out their work without bias against us as major opposition party. And so far, the signs are there given what happened in the last one week, to the elections  we held in FCT .
“What we want to see from friends of Nigeria is to support and encourage everybody to play by the rules so that even if we lose, we accept that we’ll have lost. But we want everybody to play by the rules because in the past, we had had serious reservation  about the performance of the umpire institutions.”

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