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BODY BAG: EUROPEAN UNION REACTS AS EL RUFAI DEFENDS STATEMENT

Body Bag: The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) has released a statement in response to the comment made by Kaduna state governor, Nasir el-Rufai, that anyone who comes into Nigeria to interfere in our politics will leave in body bags.

The EU in its statement said Governor El-Rufai’s comment will not in anyway deter them from carrying out their duty.

“We are aware of the comments by the Governor of Kaduna about non-interference by foreigners during a talk show on the elections Tuesday 5 February.

“The EU only deploys an election observation mission when it is invited to do so by the authorities of a country. The EU has been invited to observe all of the general elections in Nigeria since 1999. Thus this is the sixth time the EU is observing elections in Nigeria.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission invited the EU to deploy an observation mission for the 2019 general elections.

“EU election observation missions give commentary and analysis and make recommendations about the electoral process. EU election observation missions are impartial, do not interfere in the electoral process, and operate according to a strict code of conduct.”

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 16 February elections.

“For the last month the mission’s team in Abuja, as well as 40 long-term observers across the country, have followed the elections.

“We have met with a wide range of candidates, parties, election officials, security agencies, and civil society organizations, and have enjoyed good cooperation at federal and state levels.

“The mission looks at all aspects of the election, including the campaign tone, the transparency of the election administration, the neutrality of security forces, and the independence of the judiciary.” the statement read

EL RUFAI SAYS HE IS DEFENDING NIGERIA SOVEREIGNTY

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has clarified on the controversial statement he made about foreign representatives ending up in body bags if they interfere in Nigeria’s politics.

The governor made news today after a video of him making the controversial comment in an interview with NTA went viral.

In a statement released by his spokesperson, Samuel Aruwan, the governor said he was only defending Nigeria’s sovereignty by making the comment.

“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,” the governor said in the statement signed by his spokesperson, the governor said in the statement
Read the full text of the statement below:

A notorious trait of the characters that constitute the opposition in Nigeria is the manufacture of outrage on flimsy grounds. However, contriving anger on false premises and summoning a din of feverish commentary will not alter the facts. Election season is regarded as silly season in some quarters, but it is a very serious moment.

When Malam Nasir El-Rufai appeared on NTA’s Tuesday Night Live, he made comments every patriot can understand. 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 defence 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.

Malam Nasir El-Rufai has issued a powerful call for vigilance and a clear notice that other countries should not mistake the supine posture of the opposition for national weakness.

Malam Nasir El-Rufai has stood firmly against those who have been trying to divide Nigerians on ethnic and religious lines. He is resolutely
opposed to violence, and firmly committed to peace and harmony.

Let the false outrage stop.

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