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Elections: Be proud despite disappointments, UK envoy tells Nigerians

Catriona Liang

Catriona Liang


The outgoing British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Catriona Liang has revealed that Nigerians should be proud of the 2023 general elections, despite some setbacks experienced during the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

She stated this while answering questions from reporters after her farewell visit to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in Abuja.

Liang, who described Nigeria’s politics as “fascinating,” said she was “impressed with Nigeria’s democratic journey so far.”

When sked about her impression of Nigeria and her democratic process, she said, “It is obvious Nigerians are most amazing people. I have travelled a lot across Nigeria, to all the geopolitical zones.

“I have made very good friends everywhere I have gone. I love Nigeria’s music and dancing. The culture here is just so rich.

“Secondly, Nigeria’s politics is just so fascinating. I was here for the last election and I will finish with this election. I am indeed impressed with Nigeria’s democratic journey.

“Yes, there have been some setbacks but overall, I see this as positive and Nigerians should be proud.

“Nigeria’s politics is fascinating just to watch it. What I really want to get across is that Nigeria is the biggest democracy in Africa. The world watches your progress to democracy.

“Although there were some disappointments in this election, I think overall Nigerians should be proud.”

Speaking further, she said, “Since 1999, you have stuck with democracy and that should not be taken for granted because if you look at the region as a whole, some countries had coups, Presidents and who refuse to step down. Your elections might be a little different, you might have a three-party system or four, I think Nigerians should recognize that it does count.”

The envoy, while touching some other issues, lauded Nigerians for being resilient at times of difficulties.

“There has been a marked difference from when I arrived in 2019. There have been some tough times, we had COVID, and obviously, insecurity has gone much much worse since I have been here, but Nigerian people are incredibly resilient and very entrepreneurial.

“I have seen their positions all over the world and I remain very optimistic about Nigeria’s future. It has been a wonderful time. I am very sad to be going, but because the UK’s partnership with Nigeria is very strong, within a short time, I am going to be coming back,” she stated.

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