Scores of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) Friday in Abuja protested at the United States Embassy, calling on the government to beam a searchlight on Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai over his utterances.
The groups under the auspices of Campaign for Democracy (CD) and Network of Civil Society for Credible Elections led by their presidents, Comrade Bako Abdul Usman and Comrade Nasiru Jagaba respectively said they are worried about the implication of the governor’s remark.
The groups carrying placards with inscriptions, ‘No to hate speech’, ‘Yes to credible elections’, ‘Let us vote not fight’ and ‘I stand for better Nigeria’, among others presented a letter at the gate of the US embassy for onward transmission to the Ambassador.
“Clearly, a group of people led by the governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State are bent at creating violence and insecurity in the elections which is just eight days away. To this end, we formally bring to your notice the unguarded statements of Mallam el-Rufai who has issued death threats to foreign election observers saying should they interfere in any way, they would return to their respective countries in ‘body bags’. His comments are totally condemnable,” they said.
They warned that Governor El-Rufai has always carried out his threats and that as citizens, they were sure that the global community that means well for Nigeria and democracy must take seriously whatever has been said by the governor.
They said, “Aside calling political opponents ants and termites to be crushed or killed, Nasir el-Rufai had prior to the primary elections asked citizens to shave the heads and beards of Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria whenever they come to town.
“During the local government elections in Kaduna, members of the public saw how thugs were employed to intimidate and scare voters and collation officers away in many areas especially within Kaduna metropolis. The said elections are yet to be concluded in some of the local government areas.”
Recall that the governor made the controlvercial comment on “Tuesday Live” a program on Nigeria’s national television