Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai has threatened that foreigners that look to intervene in Nigeria’s forthcoming election will leave in “body bags”.
Speaking on National Television Authority’s Tuesday Live, El-Rufai said Nigeria is an independent country and doesn’t need foreigners telling her what to do.
“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 Kaduna state governor said.
He called Nigeria’s intervention in Sierra Leone and Liberia’s political affairs in the past out of “good neighbourliness” while stating it came on the back of a consensus by the international community.
El-Rufai’s comments came weeks after the international community including the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union expressed concerns over the elections after the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria Walter Onnoghen.
El-Rufai, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress and staunch supporter of the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, said those trying to intervene once had the same challenges Nigeria is going through.
He insisted that the countries should not lecture Nigeria as the Nigerian government is trying to run the country as decently as possible.
Garba Shehu, the presidential spokesman, had also said weeks ago that the government would not condone unfair interference in matters that are wholly internal while reacting to the comments by the international community.
He also said “the three friends of Nigeria” referring to the US, UK and EU hastily reacted in their statements with a certain condescension to this African democracy.
President Buhari, seeking re-election as leader of Africa’s
Despite Buhari’s promise, the major opposition party, People’s Democratic Party, has often called on the international community to intervene in several issues in the lead up to the polls on February 16.
PDP Spokesman, Kola Ologbodiyan recently called on the international community “to place the INEC chairman, directors and commissioners in INEC responsible for the election on their watch list and impose travel ban on them and hold them responsible should there be any form of rigging in the February 16, presidential elections.”
Former Nigerian vice president and PDP presidential candidate also urged the international community to intervene to “make those involved in this undemocratic act know that their actions will have consequences” following the CJN’s suspension.
In the past, the governor has shown a propensity for very strong comments.
On his Twitter handle, he called the PDP vice presidential candidate, Peter Obi, a tribal bigot based on a claim the former Anambra State governor hindered his movement in the state during the governorship election in 2010.
El-Rufai is seeking re-election as governor of Kaduna State.
He polarised views when he ditched the tacit Muslim-Christian arrangement in the state to choose a running mate from the same religion with him. He has also been accused of marginalising Kaduna South in his state and further aggravated those claims by choosing his running mate away from that area of the state.