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El-Rufai insists he’s defending Nigeria’s sovereignty by opposing foreign interference

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KADUNA State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has explained that his comments during a television programme on Tuesday, with regards to foreign intervention in Nigeria’s internal affairs, was not a call for violence, but rather a defence of Nigeria’s sovereignty.

During the programme on the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), El-Rufai had said that anyone who comes to interfere in Nigeria’s elections “would go back in body bags”, a statement which attracted criticisms from many Nigerians.

However, his media aide,  Samuel Aruwan, said that opposition political parties were reading all sorts of meanings into the governor’s straightforward remarks which  “any fair-minded person with modest familiarity with the English language and unimpaired comprehension can understand”.

“When Malam Nasir El-Rufai appeared on NTA’s Tuesday Night Live, he made comments every patriot can understand. He stood up for Nigeria’s dignity in the wake of those who would traduce their country and reduce it to the status of a colony in their vain quest for power,” Aruwan stated.

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He said the governor’s comment “does not contain any call for violence”, but was rather “a powerful defence of sovereignty”.

“Are some sections of our political class implying that they will acquiesce in or collaborate with foreign intervention in our country?” Aruwan asked.

“Affirming that a country will defend itself against needless intervention is the kind of statement you expect to hear from a patriot. It is not a call for violence. Warning about the consequences of meddling in another country’s affairs is legitimate.

“Non-interference in the affairs of other countries is a basic principle of international law. Threatening to intervene in another country implies the use of force. Those who are basing their electoral calculations on foreign intervention need to be discouraged. Only the lawful votes of the Nigerian people should make or unmake governments.

“Malam Nasir El-Rufai has stood firmly against those who have been trying to divide Nigerians on ethnic and religious lines. He is resolutely opposed to violence, and firmly committed to peace and harmony. Let the false outrage stop.”

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