Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Northern Youth Association has described as “inflammatory” the recent outburst and threat to the international community, especially the election observers by Kaduna state governor, Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, but says the threat is not surprising.
What is surprising, according to them, is extending it outside the shores of Kaduna and Nigeria, and targeting the international community, who are interested in fair, transparent, credible and peaceful elections in Nigeria.
A statement issued by Joint Action Committee of the Association, and made available to journalists in Kaduna Thursday, stressed that, the action of the governor is neither surprising nor new to them. “This is not new. But as northern youths, we have 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.
“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,” the youth said.
The statement, signed by convener of the Association, Murtala Abubakar, averred that “For the record, Governor el-Rufai is no stranger to such inflammatory statement meant to stock ember of discord and results in violence. But we have seen through his veiled calls to violence.
“El-Rufai is known to have called the opposition in Kaduna ‘termites’ and ‘ants’ and should be crushed. He has asked those, who asked questions on his style of scotch-earth leadership to climb Kufena Hill and jump to their death.
“The most recent and bizarre 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. But we thank the Christian community for their restrain and the show of maturity by not playing into the hands of the governor.
“Just this week, three young boys were mowed down in cold blood at Ungwan Muazu within Kaduna metropolis, right under the watch of Governor el-Rufai in his campaign train. Despite the security agents in the governor’s motorcade, no one has been arrested nor did he visit to condole with the families of the murdered boys. It took serious intervention of peace-loving people to ensure the killings of the young boys did not lead to another circle of bloodletting in Kaduna.
“Nigeria, like the governor said in this last infamous interview on a national television, has been involved in other countries to ensure they have a peaceful and credible election. What is wrong to ensure Nigeria does same with other countries as observers?
El-Rufai’s statement that “Those that are calling for anyone to intervene in Nigeria, we are waiting for the person to come and intervene. They would go back in body bags because nobody would come to Nigeria and tell us how to run our country” is unfortunate, condemnable, a call to violence and veiled threat to all peace-loving people.
“We use this opportunity to call on the security agencies to ensure the protection of lives and property before, during and after the forthcoming elections. We also urge the international and the election observers not to bow to threats such as the one coming from Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai,” they said.