Credible elections, smooth transition remain our major concern – British High Commissioner

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright has said that the conduct of credible, free and fair elections in Nigeria and smooth transition to a new political dispensation remained the major focus of the British government at the moment. 


Speaking in Osogbo, capital of Osun State at a meeting with the state Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, Arkwright called for transparent conduct of Osun and Ekiti state elections and the 2019 general elections.

"We want democracy to be entrenched in the Nigeria; we are not interested in who becomes what but our interest is to ensure politics is practiced in accordance with democratic tenets and principles."

"We are only interested in a free, fair, credible and elections and smooth transition so as to deepen democracy in Nigeria."

He said the British Government has is ready to support Osun State Government in the areas of education, agriculture, politics, tourism and infrastructure.

Arkwright said the British Government is ready to support Osun to strengthen her potentials for the betterment of her citizenry.

"The present administration in Osun state has done well and the British government is ready to render assistance to the state so as to strengthen her economy.

"The British government is interested in boosting the economic opportunities of Osun; we want to work with the state in order to galvanize her economic potentials for the betterment of all.

"Since Osun is rich in mining and mineral resources, our government is ready assist in reviving the state’s potentials in this regard and ensure that the sector enjoys necessary attention from government.

‎"We are also ready to assist the state in the areas of tourism, agriculture, mining and human capacity development. Our keen interest to support the state in the area of agriculture is aimed at bringing back the lost glory of the sector and putting-in the required values to every aspect of the sectors.

"It is a pity that 90 per cent of cocoa production in the world comes from Africa but sadly to know that just 10 per cent of the benefit is what Africa gets, so we want this to change."

"‎In his remarks, Governor Rauf Aregbesola described Britain as the most accommodating, tolerant and diplomatic nation in the world, saying the country had demonstrated the hallmarks of diplomacy in the annals of governance in the world.

He commended the British Government for showing interest in the policies of his administration and for extending the hands of economic support to Osun.


"As a state, we thank the British government for the prospect of economic development and the move to deepen the democratic process of our land.

"As a government, we are so passionate about human development to the extent that nothing will be spared to make life better for them. One of our strong point as a people is agriculture, especially cocoa production, which makes us the second largest producer of the product in the country.

"Tourism is another significant area of interest for us; Osun is the historical centre of the Yorubas from all over the world. The state has the highest number of traditional towns with the longest history. We will also want you to assist us in our mid-region market under the O-hub project", he added.

While reacting on the need for state police in Nigeria, Aregbesola called on necessary authorities to support the quest in the interest of internal security. 

According to him, "We all need to work on decentralising policing in Nigeria as we are the only federation in the world where central policing system is still being operated".

"if we decentralise the police, it does not remove the authority of the Federal police, it only means that the state police will only be able to work more efficiently for the protection of lives and properties."

"Some people will argue against it based on funding, but the truth is that the fund has already been made available in the federation account, it is already included in the account."

"State policing will be funded out of the Federation Account on First Line Charge just as National Judicial Commission is being funded", he posited.


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