The European Union (EU) says it has taken note of the threat of Nasir el-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, that foreigners who interfere with the 2019 elections would return to their countries with “body Bags”.
Appearing on Tuesday evening during a live programme on NTA, el-Rufai had 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.
“We are waiting for the person that will come and intervene. They will go back in body bags, because nobody will come to Nigeria and tell us how to run our country. We got that 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 these things. We have read their history.”
The EU has taken note of those words, explaining that it only goes to countries where it is invited to. It also said it does not “interfere’ with elections, but only makes commentary and analysis, and recommendations about the electoral process.
“We are aware of the comments by the Governor of #Kaduna about non-interference by foreigners during a talk show on #NigeriaDecides2019 on 5/2/19. The #EU only deploys an election observation mission when it is invited to do so by the authorities of a country,” it tweeted.
“The EU has been invited to observe all of the general elections in #Nigeria since 1999. Thus this is the sixth time the EU is observing elections in Nigeria. @inecnigeria invited the EU to deploy an observation mission for @NigeriaDecides2019
“EU election observation missions give commentary and analysis, and make recommendations about the electoral process. EU election observation missions are impartial, do not interfere in the electoral process, and operate according to a strict code of conduct.
“While the security of EU observers is of paramount importance, and will remain under constant review, EU observers will continue their work across the country in the run-up to – and beyond – the 16 February elections.
“For the last month our team in Abuja, as well as 40 long-term observers across the country, have followed the elections. We’ve met with a wide range of candidates, parties, election officials, security agencies, CSOs, + have enjoyed good cooperation at federal and state levels.
“The mission looks at all aspects of the election, including the campaign tone, the transparency of the election administration, the neutrality of security forces, and the independence of the judiciary.”
Before the EU’s response, el-Rufai defended his coments, saying he only “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”.