THE United Kingdom High Commission has warned that travel visas to the UK will be denied anyone who incites violence even on social media in the upcoming gubernatorial elections
In a statement released on Wednesday, the commission urged Nigerian citizens to go out en-mass on Saturday to the polls and decide who their leaders would be through their votes.
The UK also condemned the act of violence in different states that led to the loss of lives and properties during the presidential election and called on the security agencies to help protect lives in the forthcoming elections, with a promise to field observers across the country in a bid to foster democracy in the nation.
The commission also commended the Independent National Electoral Committee (INEC) and the National Youth Service Corp members (NYSC) on the successful conduct of the presidential election held on 23 February that declared Muhammadu Buhari president of Nigeria for a second term.
“We remind all actors that anyone involved in violence or inciting violence, including on social media, could face restrictions on their ability to travel to the UK.’
“Nigerians should turn out and vote on Saturday 9 March in elections for State Governorships and State Houses of Assembly”.
“These elections are an important opportunity for citizens to exercise their democratic rights and choose their leaders. We hope that the causes of logistical issues on the 23 February election have been identified and addressed.
“We commend INEC staff and the National Youth Service Corps, who play a critical role in the delivery of elections, often in difficult circumstances. We hope that they will be given every support and protection necessary to ensure the smooth and peaceful delivery of elections free from fear of intimidation or interference in the electoral process.”
“We were concerned about reports of high levels of violence in some states across Nigeria during the recent Presidential elections, including reports of violent clashes involving the military in Rivers State. INEC boss under pressure to redeploy RECs in Akwa Ibom, four others
“We condemn all acts of violence and call for those responsible to be brought to justice. We call on all actors, including political parties and security personnel, to work together to provide a peaceful environment for Nigerians to vote on 9 March.
“We remind all actors that anyone involved in violence or inciting violence, including on social media, could face restrictions on their ability to travel to the UK.
“The UK will again field observer teams across Nigeria on 9 March as part of our efforts to support Nigerian democracy.”