Wednesday, 6 February 2019

PDP threatens to pull out of peace accord as El-Rufai issues death threat to foreigners planning to interfere with elections

Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir el-Rufai, says any “foreign power” that meddles in the general election would return to to their country in body bags.

Speaking during an NTA Live programme on Tuesday evening, el-Rufai said as an independent and sovereign state, Nigeria would never bow to foreign powers.

“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,” he said.

Recalling a period when Nigeria had intervened in Sierra Leone and Liberia’s political affairs in the 1990s, he said the interference was as a result of a consensus by the international community and it was also a “gesture of neighbourliness”.

He said foreign countries have been through “though phases” before developing into world powers, adding that Nigeria is trying to run itself as decently as possible.”

The Kaduna state governor’s controversial remarks are coming after presidential spokesman Garba Shehu, said the federal government will not tolerate any foreign interference in the nation’s affairs.

Shehu was reacting to criticisms by US, UK and EU following the suspension of Walter Onnoghen, former chief justice of Nigeria (CJN) by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Nigeria reserves the right to be insulated from suggestions and or interference with respect to wholly internal affairs and commends international laws, customs and norms that mandate and require nations and the comity to respect this prerogative to all,” the presidential spokesman had said.

The anglo-american duo had also threatened to place travel restrictions on those who incite violence or interfere in proceedings during the elections.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has threatened to pull out of the peace accord it signed for the elections.

In December, President Muhammadu Buhari of the  All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, joined flagbearers of other parties to commit to peace in the elections.

But in a statement on Wednesday, the opposition party said after due consideration of “comments, threats and incendiary actions by the APC and the Buhari Presidency, which are directly inimical to a peaceful, free and fair election, the PDP is left with no option than to consider a review of its signatory in the national peace accord, if no action is immediately taken to curb this trend”.

The party criticised Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, for saying foreign powers who interfere in Nigeria’s elections will return to their countries in body bags. Body bags are used to convey corpses.

While expressing shock over the comment, the party called on the international community to immediately impose travel ban on el-Rufai.

“Nigerians are still in a shock over comments by the Governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, who declared on a national television that members of the global democratic institutions that are working for a peaceful election in Nigeria will return to their countries in body bags. What a threat?” the party said in a statement signed by Kola Ologbondiyan, its spokesman.

“We call on the international community to immediately impose a travel ban on el-Rufai for this inciting comment against peaceful elections in our country.”

PDP also kicked against the decision of the police to redeploy Kayode Egbetokun, a police commissioner, in Kwara state.

Ibrahim Idris, former inspector-general of police, had been directed Egbetokun to take over Lagos police command but Mohammed Adamu, the acting IGP reversed the appointment less than 24 hours after taking control of the force.

The opposition party said as a former chief security office (CSO to Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the APC, Egbetokun will be protecting the interest of the ruling party in Kwara where Senate President Bukola Saraki is from.

“Also of particular note is the plot to redeploy, a former Chief Security Officer to APC leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, CP Kayode Egbetokun, as Kwara state Commissioner of Police, where he has been handed the instruction to incite the people, cause pandemonium and pave the way for outright rigging in favour of President Buhari and all other candidates on the platform of APC,” the statement read

T”his is in line with plans by the Buhari Presidency and the APC to effect a mass deployment of top security officers, particularly the police, to intimidate, harass and manhandle Nigerians that will not support the self-succession bid of President Muhammadu Buhari as well as aiding APC thugs to snatch ballot boxes and orchestrate violence in the elections.

“Nigerians are aware of how CP Kayode Egbetokun was posted to Lagos state by the disgraced former Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim, to serve the same partisan interest and how that posting was stopped by the new IGP Adamu Mohammed. Now, he is being redeployed to Kwara state for the same ignoble plot.

“It is necessary to state that the PDP is a party of peace and we are committed to the peace accord. However, the deployment of the Kayode Egbetokun as Kwara CP directly negates the principle of the Peace Accord and can only hurt the fragile peace that currently exists in Kwara state.

“We wish to remind the acting Inspector General, Adamu Mohammed that his acceptability among Nigerians across party line was based on the pedigree, which was presented to Nigerians before his appointment.”

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