The Government of the United Kingdom has fired back at the Federal Government of Nigeria after the Buhari-led Government said it would be disrespectful to Nigeria’s sovereignty for UK to issue visa ban on citizens it judged to be election riggers.
The FG had said Nigeria’s sovereignty will be considered attacked if any outside authority sit in judgment over the conduct of its citizens and apply punitive measures such as visa restriction, unilaterally.
In reaction, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, stated that the issue of visa restriction on perpetrators of electoral violence was the UK’s visa policy and they determine who travels to the country.
While speaking at an orientation programme for people with disability seeking Chevening scholarship opportunities in the United Kingdom, Laing said:
“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 in 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.