The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, says it is the United Kingdom that has the exclusive right to determine who enters the country, however, respects the sovereignty of Nigeria.
Recall that the UK had threatened to impose visa ban on persons guilty of electoral violence in Nigeria.
The Nigerian Government, however, said the visa ban was disrespectful to Nigeria’s sovereignty.
According to NAN, Laing said the UK welcomed the fact that the Nigerian government was following up on electoral malpractices, and commended the peaceful conduct of the September 19 election in Edo.
Laing said this at an orientation programme for people with disability seeking Chevening scholarship opportunities in the UK
She explained that the issue of visa restriction on perpetrators of electoral violence was the UK’s policy.
“It is our visa policy, the UK, and we can determine who comes to the UK. So, that is a non-sovereign right,” she said.Advertisement
“And all we are saying is that in line with the Nigerian policy, that those who commit violence or who incite violence, there may be an implication for that person when they apply for a visa to the UK.
“So, I think it is actually completely consistent with the Nigerian policy.
“This is our visa policy, but obviously, it is for Nigeria to determine how they deal with these perpetrators in Nigeria.”
Speaking on if the UK would heed the Nigerian government’s response and drop such plans of imposing a visa ban on electoral offenders, Laing said she was surprised at the reaction.