The Joint Action Committee of Northern Nigeria Youths Association (JACON) has urged the international community and foreign election observers not to bow to the threat by Nasir el-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State.
A statement issued on Thursday by the group, also urged security operatives to ensure that the forthcoming elections were conducted without hitches.
Murtala Abubakar, convener for JACON, noted that the “inflammatory statement” made by el-Rufai was not new, as he had called the opposition party in Kaduna “termites and ants that should be crushed”.
In a live television programme aired on NTA on Tuesday, el-Rufai had said foreigners who interfered in the forthcoming elections would leave the country in “body bags”.
Condemning the statement by el-Rufai, JACON had noted that it was something the Governor did as he had declared that anyone who questioned his style of leadership “should climb Kufena Hill and jump to their death”.
The statement read: “The most recent and bizarre action by the Governor was his allusion to a religious icon, the celebrated and revered Catholic leader, the Pope. That statement was meant to infuriate the Catholics and Christians to cause religious conflict. The Christian community had, however, restrained from pouring out their fury and shown a sense of maturity by not playing into the hands of the governor.
“It was also gathered by the association that the Governor had shown no remorse or ordered any arrest for the three young boys who were murdered in cold blood at Unguwan Muazu within Kaduna metropolis, right under his watch, during his campaign. It took the serious intervention of indigenes to ensure the killings of the young boys did not lead to another circle of bloodletting in Kaduna.”
According to the group, the statement by el-Rufai is “unfortunate, condemnable, a call to violence and veiled threat to all peace-loving people”.
Murtala, however, stated that “the association has resolved not to be drawn into any act that will lead to loss of lives and property in Kaduna State, the region or the nation as a whole”.
They also urged security agencies to ensure the protection of lives and property before, during and after the elections.
“In the face of this, we call on all to remain steadfast, not to bow to intimidation, not to play into the hands of people like el-Rufai, whose plan is to throw the state and the nation into another round of bloodletting. We shall triumph over those who don’t want to see us in peace.”