Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State on Tuesday threatened the murder of foreign nationals who might interfere in upcoming Nigerian general elections.
His comments come after the Nigerian government accused foreign powers – the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union – of actions that could be deemed as interference, and warned of consequences.
The western powers had condemned the suspension of Walter Onnoghen, Chief Justice of Nigeria, by President Muhammadu Buhari, warning that it could affect the credibility of general elections weeks away.
But El-Rufai, a member of the ruling APC and staunch backer of the president, ratcheted up attacks against the opposition and the international community when he featured on NTA’s Tuesday Live programme anchored by veteran broadcaster, Cyril Stober.
“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 governor said.
He added that while Nigeria had intervened in Sierra Leone and Liberia in the 1990s, it was done based on the resolution of the international community and as a gesture of “neighbourliness”.
Mr El-Rufai said Nigeria is an independent entity whose sovereignty would never be compromised in servitude to foreign powers.
“We are trying to run our country as decently as possible,” he said, adding that foreign countries have also had their own share of “though” phases before attaining their current developmental strides.
Ironically, the governor had no gripe with the conduct of two governors from Niger Republic, who arrived Nigeria on January 31 to campaign for Mr Buhari’s reelection in Kano.