el-Rufai to Western powers: Interfere in elections, leave Nigeria in body bags
•PDP threatens peace accord pullout
Kaduna state governor, Nasir el-Rufai has warned foreign powers who may interfere in Nigeria electoral process that they will leave the country in body bags.
The governor’s suggestion that they could be killed followed warnings from the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union to the federal government of visa restrictions over the perceived arbitration suspension from office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.
El-Rufai, who spoke on NTA Tuesday Live programme with Cyril Stober, said: “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.
“Because nobody will come to Nigeria and tell us how to run our country. We’ve got that independence and we are trying to run our country as decently as possible.
“We know the history of those countries that are trying to teach us these things. We have read their history, we also know at their own stages of development, they went through these things.
“So, please, let’s work together, let’s advise one another but don’t lecture us.
But in a swift reaction, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday threatened to pull out in the peace accord it signed with other political parties organized by the National Peace Committee led by former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday over the matter, Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary and Director, Media & Publicity PDP Presidential Campaign Organization, said the party considered that the governor’s remark as directly inimical to a peaceful, free and fair election.
He stated that the PDP is therefore 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.
Ologbodiyan added: “Nigerians are still in a shock over comments by the Governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, 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?
“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 party also noted what it said is the plot to redeploy, a former Chief Security Officer to APC leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, CP Kayode Egbetokun, as Kwara state Commissioner of Police, “where he has been handed the instruction to incite the people, cause pandemonium and pave the way for outright rigging in favour of President Buhari and all other candidates on the platform of APC.”
According to the party this is in line with plans by the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency and the APC to effect a mass deployment of top security officers, particularly the police, “to intimidate, harass and manhandle Nigerians that will not support the self-succession bid of President Muhammadu Buhari as well as aiding APC thugs to snatch ballot boxes and orchestrate violence in the elections.”
The statement further said: “Nigerians are aware of how CP Kayode Egbetokun was posted to Lagos state by the disgraced former Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim, to serve the same partisan interest and how that posting was stopped by the new IGP Adamu Mohammed. Now, he is being redeployed to Kwara state for the same ignoble plot.
“It is necessary to state that the PDP is a party of peace and we are committed to the peace accord. However, the deployment of the Kayode Egbetokun as Kwara CP directly negates the principle of the Peace Accord and can only hurt the fragile peace that currently exists in Kwara state.
“We wish to remind the acting Inspector General, Adamu Mohammed that his acceptability among Nigerians across party line was based on the pedigree, which was presented to Nigerians before his appointment.
“These pedigree and exposure place on his shoulders, the responsibility to be just, firm, equitable and professional in the discharge of his duties. We, therefore, urge him not to allow his reputation to be mired in controversial political activities.
“Very importantly, the PDP calls on the National Peace Committee to note the infractions by the APC and its leaders to the peace accord, including 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.
“We, therefore, call on the National Peace Committee to immediately summon el-Rufai on his inflammatory remarks against the peaceful election in our country.
“The PDP hold that any situation that seeks to allow the APC to abuse the tenets of the accord will definitely force our party to review our signatory to the peace process. In that regard, we might have no option left than to allow our members to defend their votes with whatever that is available to them.
“This country belongs to all of us and no individual or group, no matter how highly placed, can subjugate other citizens or seek to appropriate any sort of absolutism to themselves.”