By Tadanyigbe Gami
#TrackNigeria: Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), has condemned the recent statement allegedly made by Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, that international observers who allegedly interfere in Nigeria’s elections would be returned in body bags.
Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, chairman of the group, made the condemnation in a statement on Friday in Abuja, while reacting to Gov el-Rufai’s body bag threat.
According to him, the comment was a strong hate speech capable of propelling violence against democrats who are helping to ensure credible elections in the country.
“TMG condemns in strong terms the unguarded statement made by Gov El-Rufai of Kaduna State against the international election observers.
“We call on the relevant government agencies including the security agencies and the Human Rights Commission to investigate and document these kinds of comments.
“The statement regrettably is an incitement against the international election observers and a strong hate speech.
“Such reckless statement by the governor is capable of propelling violence against those democrats who are working towards credible electoral process,” it said.
The statement, identified hate speeches and vote buying and electoral fraud to be major factors of violence during elections in the country.
However, Afolabi, called on the judicial arm of government to act accordingly as such statement was infraction on electoral laws.
“Overzealous party faithful and political supporters could take these threats as the green light from their principals to unleash violence on perceived opponents.
“We, therefore, call on leaders of political parties to desist from heating up the polity as speeches of this nature would do more harm than good to the forthcoming elections,” it said. NAN