Blame El-Rufai for Clinton's aborted trip - Atiku *‘Body bag’ comment scared ex-POTUS

By Editor on 12/02/2019

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Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has heaped the blame on the aborted trip of former US President, Bill Clinton at the doorstep of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, saying the ex-POTUS must have taken heed of his threat, last week that foreigners who intervened in Nigeria’s general elections would be killed.

Last week Tuesday, El-Rufai, had boasted on Tuesday Live, a Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), late night programme that any foreigner who tried to intervene in the general election, would return home in a “body bag,” a comment, which instantly went viral on the traditional and social media.

Atiku, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who joined his party and many other Nigerians in condemning statement, linked it to Clinton’s cancellation of his scheduled visit to Nigeria, to confer with political leaders ahead of the elections.

The former US President was to meet separately with Atiku and President Muhammadu Buhari, to drive home the need for a clean election that would not only be free and fair, but devoid of violence.

He suddenly announced the cancellation on Monday, expressing reservations that the trip could be misconstrued as political, though he wished Nigeria well and still hoped that the election would go well.

Atiku, however saw the statement of El-Rufai as a major contributor to why Clinton, who actually visited Nigeria as President, would stay away this time around, regretting the outcome.

He said in a statement: “It is with some disappointment that we note the release from President Bill Clinton expressing his inability to visit Nigeria because of recent “conversations” that have made the intended visit inexpedient. We understand the reasons given by President Clinton and wish the situation on the ground were more ideal as to make his visit more conducive. 

“We note that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, a man with a history and pattern of peaceful democratic activity, had looked forward to President Clinton’s visit.

“We quite understand the reasons given by President Clinton, coming especially after the unfortunate “body bag” comment emanating from the All Progressives Congress.  

“Be that as it may, Atiku Abubakar wishes to reaffirm to Nigerians and the world, his commitment to peace and democracy and urges all contestants and parties involved in the 2019 Nigerian elections to publicly do the same. 

“Atiku Abubakar urges all Nigerians to peacefully troop out in their numbers to vote according to their conscience and dictates. A large voter turnout makes it even more difficult, and perhaps impossible to rig elections. 

“Atiku Abubakar also notes the harassment of friends of Nigeria by the Buhari administration and its agents and privies, who have taken to releasing and uttering statements threatening diplomats and election observers. 

“We wish to make known to these individuals the fact that Nigeria has long-standing friends and it will be myopic to burn those bridges on the altar of desperation.  

“Finally, we urge President Muhammadu Buhari to place the interest of Nigeria above partisanship and call these antagonists to order.”




Posted on February, 12 2019

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