The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, has reiterated his government’s commitment to supporting Nigeria’s electoral system ahead of 2019 general elections.
Arkwright stated this on Wednesday in Abuja during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
“The (electoral) process is very important and that is why the British government has been supporting the process all the way through and this is an important milestone on the road to 2019,” he said.
Arkwright’s comments come four days after the Ekiti State Governorship election that was keenly contested between the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Kayode Fayemi and that of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Professor Kolapo Olusola.
In Saturday’s election, Fayemi was declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the keenly contested poll.
He polled 197,459 votes to beat his PDP rival Olusola who scored 178,121 votes, as well as the candidates of over 30 other political parties who took part in the governorship race.
Following the outcome of the announcement, the British envoy is satisfied with the conduct of the election considered to have reflected the mandate of the Ekiti electorates.
He, however, wants Nigerian politicians to avoid buying votes by allowing the people to exercise their free will in subsequent elections.
“It is important that conditions should be set for people to go out and vote in line with their opinions and conscience, vote freely as they wish to.”
Reacting to the deployment of 33,000 police personnel for the election, Arkwright commended the security operatives and INEC for providing an enabling environment for people to cast their votes.
Arkwright also believes that security is key to encouraging residents exercise their franchise during elections.