The United Kingdom (UK) Government has said it is surprised by the federal government’s stance, that it would consider disrespectful to Nigeria’s sovereignty, for any outside authority to sit in judgment over the conduct of its citizens and apply punitive measures such as visa restriction, unilaterally.
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, stated this while speaking at an orientation programme for people with disability seeking Chevening scholarship opportunities in the United Kingdom.
Laing made it clear the issue of visa restriction on perpetrators of electoral violence was the UK’s visa policy and they determine who travels to the country.
“It is our visa policy, the UK, and we can determine who comes to the UK. So, that is a non-sovereign right.
“And all we are saying is that in line with Nigerian policy, that those who commit violence or who incite violence, there may be an implication for that person when they apply for a visa in the UK.
“So, I think it is actually completely consistent with the Nigerian policy. This is our visa policy, but obviously, it is for Nigeria to determine how they deal with these perpetrators in Nigeria,” Laing said.
The United Kingdom has threatened to ban politicians who resort to electoral violence, ahead of the Ondo and Edo governorship elections.
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