Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state exemplifies the biblical saying that bad association corrupts good manners. This is of course coming off the assumption that the man ever had a shred of dignity or self-respect given his tendency to go on bended knees in obeisance to trending political power holders in any given period regardless of its moral fabric.
His recent vituperative utterance on no less a platform as national television station is evidence of the desperation and violence-loving tendency of the APC. We recall that President Buhari once threatened that the blood of ‘dogs and baboons’ would be spilled should he loose a certain election years ago, a thinly veiled and ominous call for bloodshed at his instance which, luckily, was prevented by the government of the day.
We have no such assurances today that violence can be prevented given that the political gladiators with a taste for blood constitutes Nigeria’s primary government. Governor Nadir El-Rufai, a proud lackey of General Muhammadu Buhari represents all that should be abhorred and avoided in positions of leadership. His threat of violence directed at foreign election observers and neutral bodies is not only in bad taste but a gaffe that gives insight into the minds and workings of the APC.
Being a man of vast learning and education, one would have hoped for much better conduct as a public officer from Governor El-Rufai. Instead, the small-sized governor’s preference for violence has been his prominent go-to resort. During the peak of the herdsmen crisis in Kaduna state, his solution was to make payments to the killer group, an action he publicly spoke up about and defended.
There is cause to take his words at fave value. The impunity of the utterances presupposes that there is no force to oppose its maniacal intentions. We do not have a democracy, ours is a populist autocracy. The elections this year would be a great determinant of the resolve of Nigerians to assume the reins of control over its affairs. To expect civility from the ruling party at any level of the election is a naivety with grave consequences.
As the APC calls it’s minions to arms against the exercise of Nigerians civic duty at the polls, I extend the call of well-meaning Nigerians to the defense of its democracy and nation by going out to vote and, importantly, ensuring those votes count by staying vigilant and opposing thuggery and rigging at the polling points. The security outfits in Nigeria have demonstrated bias and prejudice and may be deployed to militarize against the opposition and voters. We must oppose this vehemently.
If any political party has demonstrated the readiness to riddle this year’s election with foreign interference, then the APC take the cake. Just last week, two governors and a massive entourage from Nigér Republic attended its rally in Niger state. This gives credence to the allegation that foreigners have been enlisted by the APC to vote in this year’s election to cover for the votes lost owing to the incompetency of its leadership.
This year would be instructive in Nigeria’s political history. Our task is simple- to relegate the likes of Governor Nasir and his bloodthirsty likes to the waste basket of history. May the sorrows of Nigerians stand as an eternal testimony against his ilk. Nigeria is greater than the sum of Governor El-Rufai’s desperation and we shall prove this at the polls regardless of the thickening plot to rig the elections.
Go out, vote and get Nigeria working again.
Pelumi Olajengbesi Esq., is a Public Interests Lawyer and House of Assembly Candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, ORIADE Constituency, Osun State.