As usual, Kaduna State Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has stirred the hornet’s nest, with his threat that foreigners should not interfere in the conduct of the general elections, otherwise they will return to their country dead in “body bags”.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday threatened to pull out of the peace accord it signed with other parties before the National Peace Committee (NPC) chaired by former Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar.
The opposition party hinged its decision on the “death threats” issued by the governor, according to it, to officials of the United States (U.S.), United Kingdom (U.K.) and the European Union (E.U.).
But the Presidency dismissed it all as a storm in a tea cup. “There is nothing more to sneeze at”, it said.
Speaking on an NTA live programme El-Rufai was reported to have threatened the foreign nationals who might interfere with Nigeria’s upcoming elections with violent attacks.
“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,” he said.
The governor, however, defended himself yesterday, insisting that his comments were not in any way calls for violence, but a defence of Nigeria’s sovereignty.
El-Rufai said he merely stood up for Nigeria’s dignity as against those who would traduce their country and reduce it to a colony in their vain quest for power.
But a pro-Buhari group, the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), said neither the PDP nor its presidential candidate, was genuinely committed to any peace deal.
According to the BMO, PDP’s presidential candidate signed the peace accord reluctantly.
On their part, the PDP party called on the international community to immediately impose a travel ban on El-Rufai for what it described as the inciting comments against peaceful elections.
Ologbodiyan also called on the Gen. Abdulsalami to summon El-Rufai on the threat.
He said: “The PDP holds 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.
“We therefore call on the NPC to immediately summon El-Rufai on his inflammatory remarks against peaceful election in our country.
“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 himself.”
The party called on the National Peace Committee to note the alleged infractions by the APC and its leaders to the peace accord.