Critical Times News : Foreigners who intervene in Nigeria election will be killed, says El-Rufai, PDP react

Published by / 6 Feb 2019 / No comments /

Foreigners who intervene in Nigeria election will be killed, says El-Rufai, PDP react

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Tuesday warned that those who intervene in the forthcoming general elections will “go back in body bags”.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) governor made the threat when he featured on NTA’s Tuesday Live programme anchored by Cyril Stober.

“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.

He noted that Nigeria had intervened militarily in Sierra Leone and Liberia in the 1990s on the resolution of international community and as a gesture of “neighbourliness”.

“We are trying to run our country as decently as possible,” he said.

El-Rufai’s statement came after the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union warned the Nigerian government of interfering in the election.

Their reaction followed the suspension of Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Last week, the Buhari led government cautioned representatives of foreign countries and organisations resident in the country against interfering in Nigeria’s internal affairs.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Mr George Edokpa, condemned the position of the U.S Embassy, UK High Commission and European Union Election Observer Mission, regarding the suspension of Onnoghen.

According to the ministry, the action demonstrated serious and unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of Nigeria.

“The various statements, especially of those referred to above, appear prejudicial and signify alignment with the opposition and endorsement of its position that the ruling party and, by extension the Federal Government of Nigeria, is working on rigging the forthcoming elections in Nigeria.

“These statements also portend tolerance for corrupt acts and downplay the anti-corruption crusade of the Buhari Administration, knowing fully that the suspended CJN had not denied the charges against him.

“Also, probity requires of him to step aside while the case is under scrutiny,” it stated.

According to the Ministry, it is pertinent to underscore the unfortunate fact that statements, as referred above, are inimical to the well-being and development of Nigeria.

“Given their nuisance value of promoting sectional and religious divide in the country, anarchy and retrogression.

“Now, more than any other time, Nigerians and true friends of Nigeria should be working toward repositioning Nigeria to realise her potential and sustainably provide the leadership expected of her,” it stated.

The ministry noted that President Muhammadu Buhari had consistently demonstrated respect for the rule of law as a presidential candidate and as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and would engage in nothing to the contrary.

“He remains a man of integrity, who has severally pledged free and fair elections.

“It is therefore absurd to presume that the suspension of the CJN is geared towards rigging the forthcoming elections in favour of the ruling party.

“For the avoidance of doubt, be it known that on three occasions that Mr. President went to court, as a presidential candidate and lost his case, in 2013, 2011 and 2007.

“The presiding judges at the Supreme Court were all northerners and Muslims: Justice Muhammad Lawal Uwais, Idris Lebo Kutigi and Dahiru Mustapha respectively,” it stated.

It noted that in one instance, the presiding judge at the Appeal Court was from Katsina State and the President’s former classmate, yet, he lost the case.

“The minority judgments in his favour were given by two judges, both of them southerners and Christians: Justices George Adesola Oguntade and Sylvanus Nsofor.

“Resident Embassies and International Organisations invited to observe the forthcoming elections should be wary of being drawn into the camp of the opposition.

“Otherwise their neutrality, which is the hallmark of election observers becomes questionable.

“It is indeed unfortunate that foreign missions would align with the opposition and seek to negatively interpret actions by the Federal Government, no matter their positive basis and intention,” it added.

The ministry noted that had the Federal Government been high-handed, would the opposition have been able to express its views, even to the point of pouring invectives on Mr. President?

“How best can the corruption in the judiciary, which has enormously undermined the rights of the common man and made justice available only to the highest bidder, be best tackled than by ensuring that known cases are fundamentally tackled?

“Where is the rule of law, if justice is applied selectively?

“Pertinent questions that the opposition and their sympathisers must reflect upon are: How has the action of Mr. President undermined the resolve for free and fair election?

“In what ways does it undermine the independence of the Judiciary, except in the minds of the opposition and its cohorts?

“What right has a representative of a foreign government to incense an already volatile situation on the grounds that her Government has invested heavily in the elections?,” it stated.

According to the ministry, it is insulting for any foreign representative to claim the right to interference in Nigeria’s internal affairs, based on the premise that its government has invested heavily in the election.

The ministry said that Nigeria had invested enormously, over the years, in election processes of many African countries, and will continue to do so without interfering in their internal affairs.
“Interference in Nigeria’s internal affairs under any guise will therefore not be accepted.

“Representatives of foreign Governments and organisations are therefore advised to tread with caution and desist from using the utterances and actions of opposition organisations and individuals as a vehicle to interfere in Nigeria’s internal affairs.

“Embassies and organisations accredited to Nigeria should desist from actions and utterances that can only create political, sectional and religious crises and divides,” the ministry warned.

* PDP asks international community to place travel ban on El-Rufai

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in reaction to alleged ‘comments, threats and incendiary actions’ by the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it may reconsider withdrawing its signatory in the national peace accord if no action is immediately taken to curb this trend.

It also urged the international community to immediately impose a travel ban on el-Rufai for allegedly issuing death threats to members of the global democratic institutions that are working for the nation’s peaceful, free and fair elections.

The party on this premise asked the National Peace Committee to immediately summon el-Rufai over his inflammatory remarks against peaceful elections in our country.

PDP spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan said this while briefing newsmen and added, “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 his words, “Nigerians are still ia 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?

Ologbondiyan added that such undemocratic comments were directly inimical to a peaceful, free and fair 2019 polls.

Besides, the opposition party took exemptions to the recent redeployment of CP Kayode Egbetokun to Kwara state as police commissioner.

“Also of particular note is the plot to redeploy tha a former Chief Security Officer to APC leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, CP Kayode Egbetokun, as Kwara state Commissioner of Police”.

PDP alleged that Egbetokun 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.

Ologbondiyan affirmed that this development was in line with plans by the 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 his self-succession bid.

Further, he maintained that Buhari has allegedly instructed security agents to aid APC thugs to snatch ballot boxes and orchestrate violence in the elections.

PDP recalled, “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”.

Also, the party reminded 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.

PDP, therefore, asserted that Mohammed’s pedigree and exposure placed on him the responsibility to be just, firm, equitable and professional in the discharge of his duties and, not to allow his reputation to be mired in controversial political activities.

It, however, called 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 Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, in order to frustrate the PDP Presidential campaign rallies in the state.

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