The government of the United Kingdom said it has started gathering relevant information about those who incited and engaged election violence in the just concluded 2023 elections with a view to taking action against them.
According to the British High Commission, the UK Minister of State for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell MP, the UK would impose sanctions “including preventing people from obtaining UK visas or imposing sanctions under our human rights sanctions regime.”
The commission made this known in a statement on Wednesday, March 22, 2023.
The commission said, “We can confirm that we are collating relevant information, with a view to taking action against some individuals.”
The UK said members of its observation mission personally observed violence and voter suppression in Lagos, Enugu, Rivers and other states.
“We witnessed and received credible reports from other observer missions and civil society organisations of vote buying and voter intimidation, the destruction and hijacking of election materials and the general disruption of the process in numerous states including Lagos, Enugu and Rivers.
“In addition, we observed incidents of harassment of journalists. Freedom of speech and a free press are crucial for a healthy democracy, and journalists must be able to go about their work without being threatened.” the UK government said.
The country maintained that the 2023 elections were important not only to Nigeria and Nigerians but also to Africa and the world as a whole.
The UK, however, praised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for improving its performance during the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections on March 18.
This is coming 24 hours after the government of the United States condemned the suppression and intimidation of voters as well as the violence witnessed in many parts of the country during the March 18 governorship and the house of assembly elections.