The United Kingdom (UK) government has said it has no interest in who will become the next president of Nigeria during the forthcoming general elections.
This was disclosed on Wednesday by Catriona Liang, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, following a meeting, held at a closed door, with the National Working Committee, NWC, of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abuja.
Mrs Liang said the UK would work with any candidates who emerge from the election.
The High Commissioner also expressed confidence in Nigeria’s democracy and the president’s commitment to organising free and secure elections.
She said: “The UK doesn’t have a preferred candidate. We are committed to free and fair elections, but we will work with whoever the presidential candidate emerges from the election.
“The UK and Nigeria have a very strong partnership, and we want Nigeria to succeed. And democracy is part of it”.
She further added that her country’s government welcomes Nigeria’s commitment to democracy and as well the president Buhari’s commitment to free and secure elections.
In a related development, the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) has insisted that its presidential candidate, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, won’t step down for his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart, Atiku Abubakar, in next year’s general election.
The party was reacting to the statement credited to the Secretary of the Board of Trustees, Engr. Buba Galadima that the NNPP may go into alliance with the PDP.
National Publicity Secretary, NNPP, Agbo Major, in a statement on Wednesday, maintained that there is no such arrangement on ground, adding that the rumour emanated from the figment of the imagination of those who engineered it
Major added Kwankwaso is in the race to win and provide purposeful leadership in line with the party’s programmes and manifesto.
He said: “He is determined to go all the way due to his passion to serve Nigerians.
“As a mass movement, NNPP welcomes electoral alliances from like-minded political parties in our quest to rescue our great country but insists that any such arrangement must be the one that would see them joining us to deliver our presidential candidate Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso FNSE and never the other way round.
“That the said report is a figment of the imagination of those who engineered it and we see it as antics of mischief makers and propagandists due to the towering profile of our candidate after the series of town hall meetings held so far.
“The party roundly dismissed this mischievous report that has created unease amongst our teeming members and followers.