The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has reacted to the recent threat on foreign observers by the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.
Governor El-Rufai had on Wednesday threatened that those who interfere in the forthcoming general elections will “go back in body bags”.
In its reaction, HURIWA called on the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai to view Governor El-rufai as a terror suspect and keep him under surveillance, even as it charged Nigerians to reject violence.
The rights writers also condemned the presidency for saying that the death threat issued to members of the international community by El-Rufai was in the interest of the country.
Briefing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the organization said it “observed with monumental disappointments the statements coming from some office holders with regards to the election which is summed up as hate speeches”.
“We note the threat to kill off foreign observers as made by the Kaduna governor and the unconditional backing of this despicable, reprehensible and hate filled language of Governor Nasir El-Rufai by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We totally condemn these statements calling for bloodbath during the election targeting foreigners as made by Elruffai and the support of this satanic statement by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We ask Nigerians to reject violence and we ask the Chief of Army staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai to view Gov. Nasir El-Rufai as a terror suspect and keep him under surveillance.”
El-Rufai had threatened that foreigners who attempt interference in Nigeria’s forthcoming election will leave in “body bags” while speaking on the Nigeria Television Authority’s Tuesday Live programme.
“Those that are calling for anyone to come and intervene in Nigeria, we are waiting for the person that would come and intervene, they would go back in body bags,” the Kaduna state governor said.
However, in defence of El-Rufai’s comment that has sparked reactions from the European Union (EU) and the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the presidency said the Kaduna State governor spoke in defence of national dignity.
“There is nothing more to sneeze at. The Governor spoke strongly in defense of national interest. It is clear that El-Rufa’i, our party the APC and all its candidates have reposed their faith in democracy through general elections,” presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu said in a statement.
HURIWA believes that this statement from the presidency was a blanket call for violence.
It said, “We will be writing the World leaders to urge them to place travel bans on El-Rufai and President Muhammadu Buhari and to hold the duo responsible should there be violence during the election. We will petition the Chief of Army staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai to keep the Kaduna state governor under security watch because he is a war monger and for now a terror suspect.”