Online petition for EU, UK travel ban on El-Rufai nears 25,000 signatures target
An online petition calling on the United Kingdom and the European Union to place a travel ban on Kaduna State governor Nasir El-rufai has passed 22,000 signatures of the targetted 25,000 signatures.
The petition on change.org seeks the UK and UN action against El-rufai for allegedly promoting genocide and religious and political intolerance.
“Nasir El-Rufai is a threat to the peace and security of Nigeria for many reasons,” Reno Omokri, a former Presidential aide, who started the petition said.
“There has been an intense escalation of the killings of mostly Christians in Kaduna, and on August 25, 2020, suspected herdsmen abducted seven schoolchildren and their teacher from Prince Academy, in Kaduna. They have not been seen or heard of since then,” Omokri said.
The petition further reads: “On February 6, 2019, he threatened foreign observers, including observers from the EU and UK with death, warning that they would return in body bags should they intervene in Nigeria.
“On July 15, 2012, Nasir El-Rufai said, and I quote ‘We will write this for all to read. Anyone, soldier or not that kills the Fulani takes a loan repayable one day no matter how long it takes.’ This threat has been carried out in Southern Kaduna where there is an ongoing genocide of Christians under el-Rufai’s watch.”
Earlier in the week, the United Kingdom said it will seize assets and impose visa restriction on individuals that are caught rigging during the Edo and Ondo State governorship elections.
“As a friend and partner of Nigeria we are closely following the lead up to the off-cycle governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states scheduled for September 19 and October 10 respectively,” the British High Commission in Nigeria said in a statement.
“The UK takes a strong stand against election-related violence and, just as we did in the general election in 2019, will continue to take action against individuals we identify as being responsible for violence during the elections.
“This could include restrictions on their eligibility to travel to the UK, restrictions on access to UK based assets or prosecution under international law.”
The threat by the UK came a day after the United States said it has imposed a visa ban on some Nigerians culpable for rigging during the Kogi and Bayelsa State governorship elections in 2019.
The US in a statement by the secretary of state Mike Pompeo said the individuals have so far operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and have undermined democratic principles in Nigeria.
The UK said the Edo and Ondo State governorship elections are important, both as an essential element of effective governance within both states and an indicator of the strength of Nigeria’s democratic institutions.
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) had last month invited El-Rufai to speak at its annual general conference but the association later withdrew the invitation amid several petitions against his invitation.
The governor has been accused of mismanaging the diversity of Kaduna State which has led to the killings of hundreds of persons mostly in Southern Kaduna.