1093 views | Akanimo Sampson | May 18, 2021
Nigeria in 2023, its next cycle of general elections, will be on a global spotlight, a British envoy has said in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
According to the top diplomat, the world’s spotlight will be on Nigeria during the 2023 general elections and concerted efforts must be made to improve the country’s democracy.
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, said so after a closed door meeting with Governor Nyesom Wike, at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
“The importance of these elections, how crucial they are, not just for Nigeria’s democratic journey, but for Africa and the world. The world’s spotlight will be on Nigeria in 2023.
”It needs to be a better election, not perfect but better to consolidate and improve Nigeria’s democracy, and I think the Governor very much agree with me on that”, the envoy said.
Wike’s media handlers said the diplomat had a very fruitful discussion with their principal, pointing out that their talks revolved around the economy, prospects of his vision including youth employment, challenges he is facing and his plans to tackle them.
Speaking on the issue of security, the top diplomat said Britain is helping the Nigerian military to build its combat capacity in tackling insurgency, including Boko Haram in the northern part of Nigeria.
According to her, the British military has had its presence in Nigeria for several years and has continued to offer training on how to counter insurgency in the northern part of Nigeria.
“In the North in particular, we are sharing our experiences in counter-insurgency from Northern Ireland, from Iraq and from Afghanistan. We have a military presence here.
”It has been here for many years training your military in counter-insurgency and also sharing our experiences.
“That this kind of challenges are not solved by the military means alone, ultimately it’s about rebuilding trust with the people of this country and having a good offer as well as tackling the underline economic drive, unemployment.”
Laing said the British government is offering economic assistance to Nigeria because of the realization that lack of economic opportunities in the north has made youths in that region become easy recruits of Boko Haram.
“Unemployment, many young men out of work are very easy target for Boko Haram. So we are sharing our experience and in a practical sense helping on the security side and offering economic support to the country to enable that there will be more jobs for the people.”