THE outgoing British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Catriona Laing has said that though there were setbacks in the Saturday, February, 25th Presidential and National Assembly election, overall, it was a positive process Nigeria should be proud of.
Amid litigations trailing the conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly elections, conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) on February 25, 2023, the envoy has described the election as fascinating as it offered future assurances for democratic governance in the country.
Speaking with Journalists yesterday in Abuja at the Senate wing of the National Assembly after a courtesy visit on the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, the British envoy said that despite contestation on the process of the election by some political actors, it was fascinating and portend bright future for the country.
The envoy said, ”I made very good friends I love Nigerian music a lot the culture here is so rich secondly the politics in Nigeria is so fascinating.
“I was here till the last election and I finished with this election and I’m impressed with Nigeria’s democratic journey.
“Yes, a bit setbacks. but overall, I see this as positive and Nigeria should be proud, but with a remarkable difference when I came in 2019.
“Nigeria is the biggest democracy in Africa. The world watches your progress to democracy.
“Though there were some disappointments in the last election overall, every Nigerian should be proud because since 1999 Nigeria has been on the right track as far as participatory democracy is concerned.
“The election here is very different and fascinating as you are moving to three party system or maybe even four. I think Nigerians as well should realise that their votes count”, she said.
Aside election, the British Envoy who hailed Nigerians for being resilient at all times of difficulties, said, “There had been some tough times. We had COVID-19, and insecurity has got a lot more since I was here. Nigerian people are incredibly resilient. I remain very optimistic about Nigeria’s future. So it’s been a very wonderful tour and very sad to be going.”
Earlier in his remarks, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan who commended the British envoy on her positive disposition to the country, however, tasked her to help in strengthening bilateral relations between Nigeria and Britain.
Lawan said, ”Nigeria and Britain have come a long way in very cordial and diplomatic relations over the years, the tradition we believe, high rated diplomat like you can help to foster and strengthen.”
He wished her all the best in her future endeavours.