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Despite glitches, Nigerians should be proud of 2023 polls, says British envoy

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The outgoing British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, Tuesday said Nigerians should be proud of the 2023 presidential and National Assembly elections despite some technical glitches recorded.

Laing Liang stated this while fielding questions from newsmen after she paid a farewell visit to the Senate president, Ahmad Lawan, at the National Assembly, Abuja.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failed to upload election results on its portal as promised, raising transparency concerns in some quarters regarding results collation.

The British envoy described Nigeria’s democracy as fascinating despite the contestation on the 2023 electoral process by some political actors.

Asked about her impression of Nigeria and democracy, Liang said: “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.

At the House of Representatives, the British envoy told the speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, that the Electoral Act 2022 was a giant stride achieved by the parliament.

Earlier in his remark, Senate President Ahmad Lawan advised the incoming 10th National Assembly to maintain a bi-partisan approach that prioritises the national interest amid its deliberations.

Speaker Gbajabiamila said both the house and the outgoing British High Commissioner enjoyed a robust relationship, adding that, “We will miss you. Nigeria will miss you; the parliament will miss you and your various engagements.”

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