The Network on Police Reforms in Nigeria (NOPRIN) has described as condemnable the recent comments credited to the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai where he allegedly issued threats of death and violence against the foreign observers for the 2019 general elections.
It will be recalled that the Governor was quoted as saying on a programme televised live on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) that “those that are calling for anyone to come and intervene in Nigeria, we are waiting for the person that will come and intervene, they will go back on body bags”.
However, speaking at a press briefing in Lagos on Thursday, the National Coordinator of NOPRIN, Mr. Okechukwu Nwanguma observed that the statement was a clearly irresponsible comment coming from a person of that caliber adding that it was unbecoming of a person occupying such office as a Governor of a State.
Nwanguma noted that the statement was a clear threat of violence, murder, irresponsible as well as a hate speech which according to him constituted an act of promoting violence and one which must be viewed with great seriousness.
According to him,” Of course, we know that El-Rufai is a characteristically arrogant person with propensity for violence. The security threat assessment conducted across the country shows that Kaduna State is on red which means high probability of violence during the elections and this arise as a result of the activities of the Governor, his reckless utterances, his role in the brutal crackdown and killing of hundreds of members of Shiite Movement, his reckless statement justifying the federal government’s continued disobedience to court orders granting bails to the leader of the Shiites Movement, El-Zak Zakky and wife, his roles in instigating and escalating violence in Kaduna State particularly in Southern Kaduna where thousands of lives have been lost and his attempt at every point to justify those violence and killings arising from there.
“All this points to a man who clearly is in love with violence and I was expecting that the federal government and the APC which he belong to would have dissociated themselves from that statement but till now, nothing has happened.
“What we expect is that the EU, US and UK in line with their threats to impose appropriate sanctions on Nigerian politicians who get involved in instigating or promoting violence; that they will impose appropriate sanctions on him. This was a man who under the government of Yar’adua fled to UK and spent almost two years claiming that his life was in danger. Now, these are the same people he is threatening to kill”.
The NOPRIN boss recalled that during the past administration, the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States issued similar warnings about the need for politicians, Nigerian and indeed all stakeholders to play by the rules to avoid violence or anything that would threaten the security and credibility of elections, a warning according to him, everybody applauded.
“Now, this same people have become people interfering in the sovereign affair of the country and who will be killed and go back in bags.
“So, I think that this is condemnable and we call for action from the international community to send a clear message that it is not a joke, that this kind of irresponsibility cannot be condoned or tolerated. If this man is not brought under control, the chances that elections in Kaduna and elsewhere in the north would be marred by violence will be very high”, he stated.
Photo: Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State.
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El-Rufai Statement is a serious threat to the nation democracy and needs to be addressed with attention. Or else, people will capitalise on it and start violence here and there that may result to killing (s). Government and APR as a party should look into it critically.