My threat to foreign intervention is an act of “patriotism” – El-Rufai

Malam Nasir El-Rufai has on Wednesday, 6th February, 2019 in a television interview has clarified the controversial statement credited to him concerning killing of foreign forces who may interfere in Nigeria’s elections.

He made this statement as a warning to those calling for foreign intervention in Nigeria. The Kaduna Governor who is being heavily criticised for this statement has stated that they are waiting for anyone that would come and intervene. He warned that they would go back in body bags.

Malam Nasir El-Rufai’s statement has been criticised by many Nigerians as comments like this can spark violence especially as this statement is coming few day before the presidential and parliamentary elections. In response to Malam Nasir El-Rufai’s statement, the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has threatened to withdrawn from the peace accord it signed alongside other parties ahead of the forthcoming general elections.

During the television interview on Wednesday 6th February, 2019, in his clarification Malam Nasir El-Rufai said he was only defending Nigeria’s sovereignty. He affirmed that a country will defend itself against needless intervention is the kind of statement you would expect to hear from a patriot. He denied that his statement is not a call for violence.

The governor state released a statement which was by his spokesperson, Samuel Aruwan to that effect. The letter signed by Samuel Arewan reads thus:

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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