The Presidency has declared its support to Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna state governor, concerning his death threat to foreigners which has received many reactions from Nigerians and the European Union (EU).
According to the statement signed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, on Thursday, 7th of February, 2019, the presidency said the governor spoke strongly in defence of the nation’s interest.
“We have taken note of the clarification to a reported earlier statement by the Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai, concerning opposition call for foreign interference in our domestic affairs and to say that latest statement by him should rest the issue for good”, he told Premium Times.
The presidential spokesperson said that violence against Nigerians and foreign citizens will not be condoned before, during, and after elections.
Garba Shehu assured Nigerians and the international community that President Buhari will ensure a free and fair election.
El-Rufai Clarifies His Statement
The governor’s comment that foreigners who dare to intervene in the 2019 Nigeria general elections will go home in body bags has also received backlash from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who have called for an international travel ban on the state governor.
This has caused El-Rufai to clarify his comment on Wednesday, 6th of February, 2019. He said his comment is not a call for violence but as a metaphor, warning against unnecessary foreign intervention on Nigeria’s sovereignty.
His clarification was signed by his media aide, Samuel Aruwan. According to the statement, the governor is said to be someone who promotes peace.
The statement below is as seen in Pulse Nigeria by Premium Times:
A notorious trait of the characters that constitute the opposition in Nigeria is the manufacture of outrage on flimsy grounds. However, contriving anger on false premises and summoning a din of feverish commentary will not alter the facts. Election season is regarded as silly season in some quarters, but it is a very serious moment.
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.
The video of his comments is in circulation. Any fair-minded person with modest familiarity with the English language and unimpaired comprehension can understand it. It does not contain any call for violence. What it is 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?
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.
The 2019 general elections will kick off with the Presidential and National Assembly elections on he 16th of February, 2019 while Governorship and State Assembly elections will take place on the 2nd of March, 2019.