Friday, 8 February 2019

Global Condemnation Trails El Rufai's Hate Speech.

More eminent Nigerians and groups from across the country have condemned Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State for threatening that foreign nationals who interfere in the forthcoming general elections would be given “body bags treatment.”

El-Rufai, who is seeking re-election under ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), made the comment at Tuesday night on a live programme on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) anchored by Cyril Stober.

He argued that it is a basic principle of international law that no country should interfere in the internal affairs of another country.

The threat elicited swift reactions from groups and individuals who lambasted el-Rufai.

Yesterday, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State urged the international community to sanction el-Rufai by cancelling his visa, as purveyor of extreme electoral violence.

Wike said el-Rufai and the Federal Government had resorted to issuance of threats because they were afraid of imminent defeat.

The Rivers governor who addressed teeming Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supporters during his campaign rally at Ngo, in Andoni Local Government Area, urged the foreign observers to disregard the death threats and monitor the general elections to ensure it is credible.

“We urged the international community not to be afraid. They should not be deterred by the so-called threat by el-Rufai. They should come out and monitor these elections. If anybody rigs, they should sanction Nigeria. They should start first by imposing sanctions on el-Rufai. They should cancel all his visas.

“El-rufai is afraid because he knows he has nothing to account for as his stewardship in Kaduna. That is why he can open his mouth to attack the international community,” he said.

The senator representing Kaduna Central District, Shehu Sani, on his verified Twitter handle @ShehuSani yesterday, said the el-Rufai’s act was nothing but fascism, geared toward rigging of the forthcoming elections.

According to the legislator, threatening foreigners with body bags is never nationalism or patriotism. “They simply want to switch off the lights, close the windows and the doors and count our votes. They are watering the flowers of our democracy with kerosene.”

The Nigerian Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders Forum lambasted the Kaduna governor for the threat.

The group comprising the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, Yoruba Council of Youths, Ohaneze Youth Council, Ijaw Youth Council, and the Anioma Youth Council urged both local and international observers to ignore the threat.

The youth leaders, who jointly addressed a press conference in Abuja, said Nigerian youths would not be a ready tool in the hands of el-Rufai and his likes to unleash violence which could truncate democratic rule in the country.

Shettima Yerima of the Arewa Youths Forum, who described the antics of el-Rufai as that of a drowning man, said the youths would not shed blood in the 19 northern states.

“When somebody is drowning, he looks for excuses. No body will shed blood for anybody this time around. It is obvious and very clear that we have come of age. I am from Kaduna State. El-Rufai is speaking out of frustration because he knows that he is not popular and he might want to incite people.

“Our people are well informed. It would not be easy for any person to make use of youths to achieve political goal. We are going to monitor the election, we will protect our votes and the votes will count. We have suffered enough and it is a moment of decision. We will vote them out,” Yerima said.

To Mr. Oladotun Hassan of the Yoruba Council of Youths, el-Rufai’s statement is tantamount to hate speech and committal of treason against the Nigerian state. He hinted that his group may be forced to drag el-Rufai to the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the threat.

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