Catriona Laing, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, has warned that Nigerian politicians who incite and support violence in the forthcoming elections will have their visas banned and assets seized in the United Kingdom.
“We will apply this absolutely across board not directed to any particular party; so, we are monitoring and looking out for hate speech.
“We are concerned about the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rally which has hate speech a lot and we will like to call that kind of thing out.
“Our two worries are on security not just on the role the police will play to ensure peace but about the role individuals play by getting angry or militias being paid to disrupt elections .
“Then, another worry is fake news (and) that is why we rely on CSOs and we will work with them to get information,’’ she said at a press briefing on Wednesday in Abuja during the unveiling of the Civil Society Election Situation Room set up by a coalition of civil society organizations to monitor the elections in Abuja.
Mr. Stuart Symington, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, in his own statement noted that the special thing with the room was not just about that CSOs would say and do, but about what every Nigerian would say and do.
“The time has come for this outside world that cares so much about Nigeria to listen to the people of Nigeria and to see what each of them do and then forward the results to lift Nigeria up,’’ the U.S Ambassador said.
Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, also expressed gratitude to the CSOs for setting up the situation room, saying that it is a good work ahead the elections. He added that the situation room will help the United Nations with ideas on the elections process in Nigeria.
Jude Illoh, Country Director of Open Society for West Africa, said that even though there is a lot of apprehension ahead of the election, Nigeria would overcome it, adding that democracy had experience good progress in Nigeria.
“We have defied dictators, we have defied civil war and everything you can imagine, insurgency terrorism everything thrown at us we are still standing.
“I can tell you that the morning after the election we will be standing as a country, proudly Nigerians, ‘’ he said.
Also, Ketil Karlsen, the Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria, said that the work of CSOs over the last years brought hope that continued consolidation of democracy.