The presidency on Wednesday night defended Governor Nasir el-Rufai who threatened that foreigners who interfere in Nigeria’s election process will return home in body bags.
A statement which emanated from the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the president, Garba Shehu, said the governor spoke in defense of national interest.
It however assured that the federal government will cooperate with foreign observers who are in the country to monitor the election.
The statement read: “The Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari would cooperate with election observers and would not let the international community down in the conduct of the coming elections.
“We have taken note of the clarification to a reported earlier statement by the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai concerning opposition call for foreign interference in our domestic affairs and to say that latest statement by him should rest the issue for good.
“There is nothing more to sneeze at. The Governor spoke strongly in defense of national interest. It is clear that el-Rufa’i, our party the APC and all its candidates have reposed their faith in democracy through general elections.
“They are all of the views that there is no place for violence against local people or foreign citizens in our midst.
“Opposition PDP ought to own up to the mistakes of their own policies for 16 years which have led the country to a sorry pass that has cost lives, jobs and growth instead of dwelling on diversionary issues.”
The governor’s suggestion that the foreigners could be killed followed warnings from the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union that they may impose visa restrictions on some categories of Nigerians who may unduly influence the coming elections.
The warning came at the heels of what they perceived as the arbitrary suspension from office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.