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Death Threat To Foreigners: el-Rufai Should Resign – Ogbonnia

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A former presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr. SKC Ogbonnia, has called on the Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai to resign from office for allegedly threatening foreign observers with death in his reaction to recent statements by the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union, which cast doubt on the credibility of the forthcoming 2019 general elections.

The governor was reported to have said on television that, “We are waiting for the person that would come and intervene, they would go back in body bags.”

This open death threat against foreign observers has provoked worldwide outrage and according to Ogbonnia, it must be condemned by well-meaning Nigerians, including President Muhammadu Buhari. He said, “Such barbaric and insensitive statement coming from an elected official is preposterous. It is a threat to our nascent democracy, as well as national security, and a dark stain to Nigeria’s image in the comity of nations.

“El-Rufai’s death threat to foreign bodies contravenes an objective of the Nigerian Constitution which promotes ‘international cooperation for the consolidation of universal peace and mutual respect among all nations and elimination of discrimination in all its manifestation.’

“This development must not be treated as business as usual. Governor Nasir El-Rufai has no option than to resign his office honourably. This is a critical time in our national history, and we cannot condone public officials fanning the embers of violence.”

The former presidential aspirant also said that the Kaduna Sate governor needs to equally be reminded that Nigeria has intervened in many foreign elections, and has also welcomed foreign interventions in the country during past elections.

He added, “Very recently, both the ruling and opposition parties did not resent foreign intervention during the 2015 electoral cycle that brought this current government to power. For example, amidst rising fear of civil unrest during the 2015 polls in Nigeria, the United States of America intervened.

“It will be recalled that the then US Secretary of State, John F. Kerry, came to Nigeria to dialogue with both former President Goodluck Jonathan and his then challenger and now President Buhari to not only encourage free and fair election, but also to discourage violence during and after the election.

“Similarly, when the opposition camps were accusing Jonathan of planning to interfere in the electoral process by removing the then INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, very close to the 2015 elections, British Prime Minister, David Cameroun, intervened. In a letter to Jonathan, Cameron wrote, ‘Your support for Professor Jega’s continuing tenure and guidance of the process remains an important part of delivering successful elections.’”

While saying that Nigeria cannot operate in isolation, Ogbonnia averred that foreign interventions for the greater good must not always be viewed as a threat to national independence, as El-Rufai would want people to believe. After all, the current US support in the war against Boko Haram is a form of foreign intervention. Elections should not be an exception.

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