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Foreigners planning to interfere in Nigeria’s elections will leave in body bags — El-Rufai

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state

Kaduna State, Malam Nasir ElRufai, has warned foreigners against interfering in the forthcoming general elections in Nigeria.

The governor, who spoke on a live Television programme Tuesday, said Nigeria is an independent country and would not tolerate interference in its internal affairs.

Responding to questions on the criticisms by the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom on the credibility of the election following the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, by President Muhammadu Buhari, El-rufai said: “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  later clarified the statement after it had generated reactions across the country.

A statement by his spokesman said the governor made comments every patriot could understand.

The statement read: “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 defense 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.

“Non-interference in the affairs of other countries is a basic principle of international law. Threatening  to intervene  in another country implies the use of force. Those who are basing their electoral calculations on foreign intervention need to be discouraged. Only the lawful votes of the Nigerian people should make or unmake governments.”

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