President Muhammadu Buhari has disassociated himself and the federal government from his stauch loyalist, Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai who had threatened that foreigners who intervened in the country’s internal matters would go back in body bags.
Mr Buhari, in a live broadcast to the nation on Thursday evening, rather assured members of the international community and foreign election observers of their safety and protection.
He said, “I want to assure all Nigerians, the diplomatic community and all foreign election observers of their safety and full protection.
“Any comments or threats of intimidation from any source do not represent the position of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” the president said.
The president did not mention El Rufai’s name but his assurance became necessary in view of the Kaduna governor’s threat.
“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,” Mr El-Rufai had said.
Mr. Buhari also assured Nigerians that the government would ensure the elections take place in a secured and peaceful atmosphere, appealing to Nigerians, especially the youth, not to take to violence during the elections.
“It was indeed such free, fair and peaceful elections that made it possible for our government to emerge, despite the fact that we were contesting against a long-standing incumbent party.
“ And as your president and a fellow Nigerian, I ask that you come out and queue to fulfil this important obligation you have to yourselves and your fellow citizens – and to our common future.
“I urge you all as good Nigerians to take up personal interest in promoting and maintaining peace in your respective neighbourhood during the elections.
“This is not a time to allow personal, religious, sectional or party interest to drive us to desperation,” the president said.