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Niger Delta agitators berate el-Rufai over intimidation of observers



A coalition of Niger Delta agitators yesterday berated Kaduna State Governor Ahmed Nasir El-Rufai over the death threat to foreign observers who will be monitoring the general elections.

In a statement issued by John Duku of the Niger Delta Watchdog, the agitators took serious exception to the comment credited to the governor that observers who interfere in the polls will be given ‘body bag’ treatment.

While berating El-Rufai and the presidency on the issue, the group cautioned that Nigeria might experience the worst electoral crisis if the presidency uses its might to rig the elections.

They asserted that the country was not an exclusive fiefdom of any individual, ethnic group, religion or political party to run at their own whims and caprices.

The agitators said the country remains a common patrimony of all Nigerians from the six geopolitical zones and religious inclinations just as they backed the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) for endorsing presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.

They, therefore, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the presidential election is free, fair, peaceful and credible or he should be ready to face dire consequences.

“The Niger Delta people can no longer cope with another four years of discrimination, marginalisation, poverty, insecurity and total disregard for the rule of law, which have marked the first tenure of the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.

“The Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators has also condemned in very strong terms the unguarded, careless and reckless statement made recently by El-Rufai against the International Election Observers from the United States (U.S.), United Kingdom (UK), the European Union (EU) and the entire international community.

“Speaking on National Television Authority (NTA)’s Tuesday Live programme anchored by Cyril Stober, El-Rufai had threatened that foreigners who intervene in the forthcoming general elections will go back in body bags.

“His comment confirmed his tribal and violent disposition and that of APC’s national leadership, which have openly declared that they saw nothing wrong in the threat, insisting that he (E- -Rufai) made the comment in the country’s interest,” it stated.

They cautioned El-Rufai, security agents and the Federal Government to be cautious in their utterances just as they urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure free, fair, credible, transparent and peaceful elections.

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