Outgoing British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Catriona Laing, has said though there were some set backs in the Saturday, February, 25, presidential and National Assembly elections, but there were positive developments to take out of the polls.
According to her, there is a remarkable difference between now and when she arrived Nigeria in 2019.
She noted that despite litigations trailing the election, it was fascinating as it offered future assurances for better democratic governance in the country.
Speaking at the Senate wing of the National Assembly, after a courtesy visit on the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, in Abuja on Tuesday, the British envoy said despite contestations of the process of the election by some political actors, the election portended bright future for the country.
She said: “I made very good friends, I love Nigerian music a lot, the culture here is so rich. Secondly, the politics in Nigeria is so fascinating.
“I was here till the last election and I finished with this election and I’m impressed with Nigeria’s democratic journey.
“Yes a bit of setbacks but overall, I see this as positive and Nigeria should be proud, but with a remarkable difference when I came in 2019.
“Nigeria is the biggest democracy in Africa; the world watches your progress to democracy.
“Though there were some disappointments in the last election but overall, every Nigerian should be proud because since 1999, Nigeria has been on the right track as far as participatory democracy is concerned.
“The election here is very different and fascinating as you are moving to three party system or may be even four. I think Nigerians as well should realise that their votes count.”
Aside election, the British envoy, who hailed Nigerians for being resilient at times of difficulties, added: “There had been some tough times. We had COVID19, insecurity has got lot more since I was here. Nigerian people are incredibly resilient.
”I remain very optimistic about Nigeria’s future. So it’s been very wonderful tour and very sad to be going.”
Earlier in his remarks, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, who commended the British envoy on her positive disposition to the country, however, tasked her to help in strengthening bilateral relations between Nigeria and Britain .
Lawan said: “Nigeria and Britain have come a long way very cordial and diplomatic relations over the years. We believe a highly rated diplomat like you can help foster and strengthen it.”