In a TV interview broadcast nationally on Tuesday, the governor of Kaduna State, Nasir Elrufai, threatened the murder of foreign nationals who might interfere in Nigeria’s general elections in the most violent rhetoric of the 2019 elections so far.
“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,” the governor said in an interview on NTA’s Tuesday Live program hosted by Cyril Stober.
Backstory: The governments of several foreign nations had released statements condemning the suspension last month of the country’s chief justice, Walter Onnoghen. In their separate statements, the foreign powers including the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union said Onnoghen’s suspension could affect the credibility of the polls.
The federal government in different response has accused the foreign powers of attempting to interfere in the elections. The irony of the FG’s condemnation was that a few days after that, governors from neighboring Niger Republic attended a Buhari campaign rally in Kano state and the government and ruling party found no problems with that.
The Kaduna governor said that the times Nigeria has intervened in foreign countries, it was based on the resolution of the international community and as a gesture of “neighbourliness”. He said Nigeria is an independent entity whose sovereignty would never be compromised in servitude to foreign powers.
It should be pointed out that none of the foreign powers talked about intervening militarily in Nigeria. The farthest they went was to threaten sanctions.
PDP to pull out of peace accord: Still, Elrufai’s threats are a direct appeal to violence and murder, and it is already drawing condemnations. The PDP said in a statement on Thursday that it is “left with no option than to consider a review of its signatory in the national peace accord, if no action is immediately taken to curb this trend.” It said if the APC continues to abuse the tenets of the Peace Accord, it “might have no option left than to allow our members to defend their votes with whatever that is available to them.”
Proposes travel ban: “Nigerians are still in a shock over comments by the Governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir Elrufai, who declared on a national television that members of the global democratic institutions that are working for a peaceful election in Nigeria will return to their countries in body bags. What a threat?” the PDP spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan said. “We call on the international community to immediately impose a travel ban on el-Rufai for this inciting comment against peaceful elections in our country.”
The main opposition party called on the National Peace Committee to immediately summon Elrufai on his “inflammatory remarks against peaceful election in our country.”
Another issue which the PDP asked the Committee to take note of is the “provocative shut down of all the stadia in Kano state by the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, in order to frustrate the PDP Presidential campaign rallies in the state.”