The United Kingdom has said it hoped that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), will assent to the Electoral Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill transmitted to him by the Federal Government.
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, at the opening ceremony of YIAGA Convergence 3.0 on Thursday, noted that she was in Zimbabwe where she observed elections and she recognised how powerful the civil society could be.
Laing, while noting that the next generation election in Nigeria is “make or break,” said, “We honestly really believe for Nigeria, for Africa, for the World that the outcome of this election and the conduct of this election is massively important.”
According to the High Commissioner, it has been “a little bit of a rocky road” for Nigerian democracy since 1999 but the country has “stuck with it.”
She said “the world will be looking at this election” and whether it would be secured and conducted “relatively well” as well as if the electorate would accept the results and rally round the new leadership.
The diplomat added in part, “Speaking for my government and the new US administration, we are very conscious…we need to build a coalition of democracies.”
Liang said it is hoped that the Independent National Electoral Commission would deliver “a good election and the Electoral Act, hopefully, will be passed soon by the President for the electronic transmission of votes.”
She added, “But fundamentally, it needs people to register to vote.”
According to her, while the British Government has been monitoring the voter registration process and it has been going quite well, “we need to up the ante.”
Votes’ll count in 2023 elections, Buhari pledges
Meanwhile, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has promised Nigerians and the international community that his regime will ensure free and fair elections in the 2023 general elections.
Buhari also assured Nigerians of a peaceful transfer of power, even as he called on global partners to support Nigeria’s efforts in tackling insurgency and terrorism.
He spoke on Friday at a Virtual Summit for Democracy organised by President Joe Biden of the United States.
Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘We’ll ensure free, fair elections in 2023, transfer of power to winners –President Buhari’.
According to him, necessary mechanisms will be strengthened to ensure that Nigeria witnesses another peaceful transfer of power.
As we count down to our next general elections in 2023, we remain committed to putting in place and strengthening all necessary mechanisms to ensure that Nigeria will not only record another peaceful transfer of power to an elected democratic government, but will also ensure that the elections are conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner.
“Your Excellencies, Nigeria will continue to actively support the democratisation processes in our region; West Africa, and the African continent at large. But regrettably, our democratic gains of the past decades are under threats of unconstitutional takeover of power.
“This unwholesome trend, sometimes in reaction to unilateral amendments of constitutions by some leaders, must not be tolerated by the international community. Nigeria fully supports the efforts by ECOWAS to address this growing challenge and appreciates the support of both the African Union and the United Nations,’’ he added.
The President said Nigeria continued to face security challenges which posed a threat to democracy, calling “on global partners to support our efforts in tackling insurgency and terrorism.’’
Still speaking, the President thanked Biden, government and people of the United States for hosting the Summit.