2023 elections may not hold in Nigeria if…, UK govt raises alarm

The government of the United Kingdom has warned that the 2023 general elections may not hold in Nigeria if the current spate of violence and insecurity continues unabated.

It added that the various calls for the country’s break up as well as cases of conflict in different parts of Nigeria are all threats to the 2023 election, noting that the country is at a critical juncture.

The Director, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office in the United Kingdom, Chris Beecroft made the submission yesterday during the launch of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum Peace and Inclusive Security Initiative (PISI) in Abuja.

Beecroft identified active insurgency in the North East; farmers-herders’ conflicts which are extending across the country, resource conflicts in the Niger Delta, tension in the South-East and banditry in the North West as some of the major challenges.

The UK government official however said a solution is definitely possible but requires all stakeholders to work together.

He noted that while the military and the police need to be strengthened, the solution to Nigeria’s security challenge does not lie in that alone but in reconciliation, mediation, arbitration, and access to justice as well.

He said: “We are at a critical juncture in Nigeria’s journey, and now is an important moment for new thinking and action to build a more peaceful future for all Nigerians.

“The Foreign, Common-wealth and Development Office values our relationship with the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, and have supported the NGF through our programmes, including SPARC, PERL and most recently the Technical Assistance provided in framing the Peace and Inclusive Security initiative, PISI.

“Nigeria faces significant peace and security challenges. There is an active insurgency in the North East; famer-herder conflicts are extending across the country; resource conflicts in the Delta; tension in the South-East; and banditry in the North West. The rise in conflict risks destabilising Nigeria’s democracy in the run-up to the 2023 elections."

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