© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Anyone who intervenes in Nigeria’s election will leave in a body bag… El-Rufai
THE Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai has threatened any external body that interferes with the forthcoming general election in Nigeria with death, saying such a person will leave the country in a body bag.
El-Rufai made the remarks during a live television programme aired by the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) in reaction to the allegations by the federal government that the international community was trying to interfere in Nigeria’s internal affairs.
Recall that the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, had criticised President Muhammadu Buhari for his suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen.
They pointed out that Buhari’s action, coming so close to the election, and which has been established to have gone contrary to the Nigerian constitution, could reduce the integrity of the election, as well as spark discord and violence in the country.
But the Buhari administration warned that foreign bodies should stay clear of its internal affairs, warning that “it will fiercely and assiduously promote the will and the right of Nigerians to choose and elect their leaders without pressure or assistance from persons or entities that are not constitutionally empowered to participate in the process”.
Speaking on the issue on Tuesday, El-Rufai remarked: “Those that are calling for anyone to come and intervene in Nigeria, we are waiting for the person that would come and intervene, they would go back in body bags.”
El-Rufai insisted that the present administration is trying “to run our country as decently as possible”, noting that these developed countries also had periods of difficulty in their history.
The Buhari administration has on several occasions launched campaigns aimed at curbing hate speech and utterances that are capable of throwing the country into violence, but government officials and members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) themselves have continued to make such inflaming comments.
During the period of state primary elections, towards the end of 2018, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State threatened to unleash violence on the party delegation that was to be sent to monitor the primary election in the state.
Yari warned Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman, not to send anybody to Zamfara State, else, he (Oshiomhole) should be held responsible for whatever happens to them.
“I am warning members of that committee that they should never come to Zamfara, they should never put their legs in this state, and anything that happens to them, Adams Oshiomhole should be held responsible,” Yari said.
“We are ready, including myself, to be taken to the graveyard tomorrow. If he knows he is the true son of his father and mother, he should send those people and see; and it is fight to finish.”
Yari is the current Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum.
True to his threats, the APC could not hold any primary election in Zamfara State, an action which resulted in the party’s disqualification from the forthcoming elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).