El Rufai calls himself a patriot for stance on foreign intervention in Nigeria’s elections

Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State says foreign countries that tries to meddle in Nigeria’s election will “leave Nigeria in body bags.”

The governor was a guest on NTA’s Tuesday Night Live.He responded to questions on the statements of the United States, European Union and the United Kingdom regarding the credibility of the election following the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.

El-Rufai said, “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 added, “Nobody will come to Nigeria and tell us how to run our country. We have got our 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.

“We know their history, we also know their own stages of development and they went through these challenges. So, please, let us work together, let us challenge one another, but don’t lecture us.”

El Rufai clarifies

The Governor released a statement through his spokesperson, Samuel Aruwan on Wednesday clarifying his statement, says, his comments are in defense of Nigeria’s sovereignty.

He wrote that, “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.

He continued, “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.”

He pointed out that his statement during the interview does not contain any call for violence. “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?”