The Kaduna State gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nasir El-Rufai, has condemned recent inciting comments of state Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, El-Rufai’s campaign spokesperson, Samuel Aruwan, said in a statement sent to media.
On Jan. 12, 2015, during the launch of his campaign, Governor Yero asked PDP supporters to physically challenge and confront supporters of rival parties. He plainly encouraged his supporters to be violent, vowing that "anyone born of a woman who dares us we will use all the powers and force at our disposal to crush him."
The statement stated that “Yero followed up this incitement to violence and anarchy by making wild allegations about Nasir El-Rufai and threatened El-Rufai in Hausa vernacular saying:
"I can assure you if today I decide you must not come to Kaduna, you will not, if I decide to destroy your house I can, if I decide to put you under house arrest I will. But if you have any doubts try us and you will regret it. If you dare us we will use powers vested in us to decisively deal with you."
The statement added that “It will be difficult to come across a more astonishing articulation of irresponsible understanding of power than this. A supposedly democratically elected governor, in the 21st century, is talking as if he can freely abuse or abridge the right of any citizen. We wish to remind him that the constitution and the laws of this country do not permit him the recklessness he is arrogating to himself. Two years in office as governor seem to have deluded Yero into a mistaken belief that he has the unchecked powers of an absolute monarch or tyrant.
“We condemn this incitement to violence and the threat to the liberty and property of Malam El-Rufai. No politician is permitted to allow his desperation to retain office to lead to the outbreak of anarchy or violence in any form. We call on INEC, the security agencies, civil society organizations, and the international community to take note of Yero’s incitement to violence. And also recent declaration by hunters to be part of his campaigns contrary to 23rd December 2011 ban of hunting activities in the state.
“El-Rufai is committed to free, fair and credible elections, conducted peacefully and which results reflect the expressed wishes of the people. We are campaigning vigorously, exposing the non-performance of the government, their wastefulness, their incompetence and their uncaring attitude to the security situation in Southern Kaduna and Birnin Gwari, their insensitivity and denigration of our citizenry. It is a wonder that Yero has never expressed concern at the toll of lives lost in those communities. Rather his passion is stirred only when electoral defeat is starring him in the face.
“We are engaging the good people of Kaduna State with our programmes that spell out how we will address the issues that matter to the electorates. Yero has failed to abide even by his own call that all candidates should conduct an issue-based campaign. But we remain resolute in focusing on the issues because we are the alternative that the people are rallying to. Once again, El-Rufai commends his supporters for their enthusiasm, passion and peaceful conduct. And we encourage them not to succumb to provocation. We will continue to believe in Almighty God and good people of our dear state and will never derail like those who have assumed place of Almighty God.”