2023 Presidency: I’m Impressed With Nigeria’s Democracy – Catriona Laing

2023 Presidency: I’m Impressed With Nigeria’s Democracy – Catriona Laing

Catriona Laing, the outgoing British High Commissioner to Nigeria, has described Nigeria’s democracy as very impressive.

This is courtesy of the 2023 National Assembly and presidential elections which she also described as very fascinating.

The 2023 presidential election is one of the most criticised elections in the history of Nigeria.

Both local and international observers have expressed dissatisfaction with the mode of conduct of the election by the electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

INEC failed to transmit the results of the election to the server directly from the polling units as earlier promised.

During collation of the results in Abuja, the agents of major political parties, Labour Party, LP, and the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, staged a walk-out in protest against the results being collated by INEC Chairman for alleged inconsistence with polling units results.

The former Governor of Lagos State, and the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, emerged the winner at the end of the process.

Speaking on the polls after a visit to the Senate President, Laing pointed out that in spite of some challenges at the process, Nigerians ought to be proud owing to the fact that the country had been on the right path to democracy since the return of civil rule.

According to her: “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 of setback, but overall, I see this as positive and Nigeria should be proud but with a remarkable difference when I came in 2019.”

She also said, “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 a three-party system or maybe even four. I think Nigerians as well should realise that their votes count”, she stated.

She similarly hailed the people of Nigeria for their reselience in all situations, adding that “There have 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.”