The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, will conduct presidential and National Assembly elections on February 25, 2023, and Catriona Laing, the outgoing British High Commissioner in Nigeria, has called the elections fascinating despite the controversy they have generated.
While paying Dr. Ahmad Lawan a courtesy call at the National Assembly building on Tuesday in Abuja, Laing answered questions from reporters and remarked, “The politics in Nigeria are very fascinating. I participated in the last election while still present in this one. I’m impressed by Nigeria’s progress toward democracy.
“Yes, a bit of setbacks (are noticed), but overall, I see this as positive and Nigeria should be proud but with a remarkable difference [compared to] 2019. Nigeria is the biggest democracy in Africa. The world watches your progress to democracy.
“Though there were some disappointments in the last elections, overall, every Nigerian should be proud, because, since 1999, Nigeria has been on the right track as far as participatory democracy is concerned.
“The election here is very different and fascinating as you are moving to a three-party system or maybe even four. I think Nigerians as well should realise that their votes count.”
Aside from elections, the British envoy also saluted Nigerians for being resilient at all times of difficulties.
“There have been some tough times. We have had COVID-19 [and] insecurity since I was here. Nigerian people are incredibly resilient. I remain very optimistic about Nigeria’s future. So, it’s been a very wonderful tour and very sad to be going,” she further stressed.
Earlier, the Senate President, in his remarks, commended the British envoy on her positive disposition to the country.
Lawan tasked her to help in strengthening bilateral relations between Nigeria and Britain.
“Nigeria and Britain have come a long way in very cordial and diplomatic relations over the years. The tradition, we believe a highly-rated diplomat like you can help to foster and strengthen,” he said.