The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai for allegedly threatening foreigners in the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
Governor El – Rufai has slammed the United States, United Kingdom and European Union’s reactions to President Muhammadu Buhari’s suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, as “most irresponsible”.
According to him, they cannot dictate to the Federal Government.
Onnoghen was suspended over alleged false asset declaration .
The US , UK and EU had questioned the legality of Onnoghen ’s suspension by Buhari without the input of the National Assembly.
They also faulted the timing of the CJN ’s suspension against the backdrop of the allegations by the opposition parties that Buhari wanted to control the judiciary ahead of the general elections .
However, el – Rufai , while speaking on Tuesday Live , a late night programme on the NTA anchored by Cyril Stober, warned them to steer clear of the internal affairs of Nigeria .
He said , “They ( the comments ) were based on non- information and they are most irresponsible , and I ’m happy that the Presidency responded to them .
“As Nigerians , we must understand that these guys can sit pretty in their countries and say things but when crisis breaks we are here . We are the victims , our wives and children are the victims .
“We must unite and say no to violence in this country .”
The governor condemned the petitions sent to the US , UK, EU , Germany and France by the opposition parties calling on them to prevail upon Buhari not to derail the nation’s democracy .
He said , “We are waiting for the person that will come and intervene . They will go back in body bags , because nobody will come to Nigeria and tell us how to run our country . We ’ve got that independence and we are trying to run our country as decently as possible . And we know the history of those countries that are trying to teach us these things; we have read their history. We also know that in their stages of development they went through these challenges.
“So, please, let ’s work together ; let ’s advise one another but don’t lecture us.”
El -Rufai also dismissed the allegations of bias being levelled against the Independent National Electoral Commission by the Peoples Democratic Party, saying they were trying to delegitimise the elections to justify their defeat at the polls.
He added, “We have confidence that INEC will conduct credible elections and we challenge everyone, the opposition parties, to point out what part of the logistical arrangements or electoral preparations gives room for any manipulation, otherwise, they should shut up.”
The Peoples Democratic Party on Wednesday threatened to pull out of the peace accord signed by parties ahead of the general elections over el -Rufai ’s comments on NTA .
The PDP National Publicity Secretary , Mr Kola Ologbondiyan , said at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday the party would be left with no option but to consider a review of its signatory to the peace accord if no action was taken over the governor ’s comment that “the person that will come and intervene” in Nigeria ’s internal affairs “would go back in body bags”.
He said, “Nigerians are still in a state of shock over comments by el – Rufai on the national television that members of the global democratic institutions that are working for peaceful elections in Nigeria would return to their countries in body bags. What a threat?
“We call on the international community to immediately impose a travel ban on el -Rufai for this inciting comment against peaceful elections in our country.”
Meanwhile, the European Union Election Observation Mission has said it has a strict code of conduct and its observers do not interfere in elections .
The EU EOM said this in a statement on Wednesday by its Press and Public Outreach Officer, Sarah Fradgley , in response to el -Rufai ’s comments .
It stated , “We are aware of the comments by the Governor of Kaduna about non -interference by foreigners during a talk show on the elections on Tuesday .
“While the security of EU observers is of paramount importance , and will remain under constant review, EU observers will continue their work across the country in the run -up to – and beyond – the elections.”