Nigeria has been urged by the British government to desist from a ‘non-democratic’ change of government.
Paul Arkwright, the United Kingdom High Commissioner to Nigeria, on Wednesday gave the warning amid speculation about military coup as concerns grow over President Muhammadu Buhari’s health.
“The British government believes that democracy is actually critical in Nigeria, there are elections. If you’re not happy with your leaders then you should change your leadership through the democratic process and through elections,” Arkwright, said on Wednesday.
The High Commissioner spoke at an event held in Abuja to formally launch a new report on corruption in Nigeria which was put together by UK policy think-tank, Chatham House.
The UK envoy, Arkwright, while recognising the rights of citizens to agitate for a more tolerable living condition, said the United Kingdom would only encourage a change of power through the ballot box.
“Our position is very clear: we stand for democracy, we stand for the democratic process and we stand for change —if that is what the people themselves want,” the diplomat said. “That has to be a choice the people make and not a choice that is imposed upon them.”
Earlier, the Nigerian army chief, Tukur Buratai, was quoted in a statement warning it officials from associating with politicians.
“Any officer or soldier of Nigerian Army found to be hobnobbing with such elements or engaged in unprofessional conducts such as politicking would have himself or herself to blame,” the Army said in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Sani Usman, a brigadier general.