The presidency has thrown its support behind Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, over the statement he made during a programme that was aired on Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), on Tuesday, February 5, 2019.
Governor El-Rufai warned the United States (U.S), the United Kingdom (U.K) and the European Union (EU) and other international bodies to desist from interfering in Nigeria’s political affairs or face fatal consequences on leaving in body bags. He said:
“Those that are calling for everyone to come and intervene in Nigeria, 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.”
Governor El-Rufai‘s statement did not go down well with many Nigerians and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who are calling for the imposition of an international travel ban on him.
However, in a statement signed by President Muhammadu Buhari‘s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, on Thursday, February 7, the presidency said the governor spoke strongly in defense of national interest. He said:
“We have taken note of the clarification to a reported earlier statement by the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, concerning opposition call for foreign interference in our domestic affairs and to say that latest statement by him should rest the issue for good.”
The presidential spokesperson declared that violence against Nigerians and foreign citizens will not be condoned before, during and after the elections.
While reaffirming that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidates have faith in Nigeria’s democracy, Shehu assured Nigerians and the international community that President Buhari will ensure the conduct of free, fair and credible elections.