Catriona Laing, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, has lamented the decline of democracy in the West African region.
Laing who stated this when she met leadership of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja yesterday, added that the world would be watching how Nigeria conducts the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
The high commissioner however charged the party to strive to ensure that young people are encouraged to participate in the electoral process.
There have been coups in Guinea-Bissau; Burkina Faso, Guinea, Niger and Mali between May 24, 2021 to February 1, 2022.
Laing said “One of the challenges in Nigeria has been low turnout, you know, what we can do collectively to inspire the youth to believe in their politics and in the future of their country. We look forward to seeing how much this election matters.
“Nigeria has been on the democratic journey since 1999. And that, in itself, is something to be very proud of. You’re in a region, unfortunately, where democracy is backsliding. I know in Nigeria, your president has taken a very clear forward position on that, and in ECOWAS and so on.
“The world will be watching this election, and hoping it goes well. So it matters, obviously, for the people of Nigeria, it matters for Africa, and it matters for the world. You’re one of the largest democracies globally. And we want you to stay (part) of that global community.”
On his part, the national chairman of the PDP, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, however urged the international community not to lose faith in Nigeria, adding that the party is working on a manifesto that will rescue and rebuild Nigeria when the party returns to power in 2023.
“We are currently working on our manifesto to make sure that we return to those days of building the economy or tackling the issue of security which is today ravaging the country.
“We believe there’s a lot that those of you, who are friends of this country can do to help.”