CORRECTED: UK official warns against conflicts ahead 2023 elections

An official of the United Kingdom, Chris Pycroft, in July 2021 expressed concerns that “the rise in conflict situations across Nigeria may destabilise the country’s democracy in the run-up to the 2023 elections”.

Pycroft, development director at British High Commission, Abuja made the comment at a Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) event for the launch of their Peace and Inclusive Security Initiative (PISI) on July 8, 2021.

The UK official identified active insurgency in the northeast, farmers-herders conflicts 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.

However, he held that solution is definitely possible but requires all stakeholders to work together. Pycroft 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.

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“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,” he said.

He pointed out ways the UK actively supports the country to maintain its unity, saying his government is keen on such engagements.

‘’All our programming, whether focused on health, education, economic growth, or governance, works to reduce the risk of violent conflict and support peace-building infrastructure,” he said.

Headline, name, date and attributions have been changed and quotes removed to state the facts of the event which were earlier misrepresented.

BusinessDay apologises for the errors and inconveniences they may have caused. They were unintentional.

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