The United Kingdom (UK) has defended the decision to impose a visa ban on election riggers in Nigeria, saying it respects absolutely the sovereignty of the Nigerian Government but also has the right to determine who to enter her country or not.
Ms Catriona Laing, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, made this remark during an orientation programme for people with disability, seeking Chevening scholarship opportunities in the UK, on Thursday in Abuja.
This comes after the governments of the United States of America and the UK announced visa imposition on anyone who constitutes violence and undermines electoral processes in the Edo and Ondo states elections.
Laing said that the UK welcomed the fact that the Nigerian Government was following up on any violence, commending the peaceful conduct of the Sept. 19 elections in Edo.
“It is our visa policy, the UK and we can determine who comes to the UK.
“So, that is a non-sovereign right.
“And all we are saying is that in line with 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,” Laing said.