Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai’s “body bag” comment has continued to generate mixed reactions with the latest coming from his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Governor El-Rufai had said that those who intend to interfer in Nigeria’s general election would return to their countries in body bags.
Amidst wide criticisms over El-Rufai’s comment, the APC says the governor spoke the mind of the federal government.
“We stand fully by the statement as regards any country that thinks we are a colony; that we have a right to defend every inch of this country; and we are not a Banana Republic,” said Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC national publicity secretary in a statement made available to Pulse on Friday, February 8, 2019.
He continued: “So, what Governor El-Rufai said, clearly, is the position of this government, that we are proud as Nigerians and we are ready to defend the integrity of this country and that any country that thinks in the name of election will want to interfere and dictate to us or intimidate us in any way, it is unacceptable. That is exactly what Governor El-Rufai has said. The PDP can twist it the way they want.
”Governor El-Rufai never said people should not come and observe or monitor elections. And he was not referring to people who are genuinely coming to monitor and observe the elections. Nigerians also go to other countries as monitors and observers. So, that is acceptable to us, we welcome peer review. What we don’t welcome and what is unacceptable to us is any country thinking we are a colony, we are not. We are a sovereign nation”.
Onilu said the APC was studying Supreme Court’s judgment stopping the the party from fielding a governorship candidate in Rivers state.
“Our legal department is looking into the judgement of the Supreme Court. It is not the kind of judgement we looked forward to base on the facts that we are aware of. The only option before us now is to review this judgement and see what other means that is legal. We think we deserve to field candidates in Rivers state. We know we did the right thing. We had our primaries even though there are issues around it.
“I don’t know why it appears the APC is the only party that is being subjected to this kind of scrutiny from the electoral body. It is the same APC that PDP has continued to raise flags as being the party that wants to rig election and is supposed to be working in cahoots with INEC.
”If this is the way to work in cahoots with INEC, we need to ask further questions. We know what we did in Rivers compared to what PDP did in many of the 36 states. PDP shouldn’t field candidates in many states if the same parameters applied by the electoral body are applied to the PDP.
“Our legal department will review the outcome of this as unpalatable as it is and we will be able to say categorically the next step we might be taking and come out with it in due course,” he added.