Nigerian leaders on different occasions have made comments that are capable of generating tension in the country.
According to SaharaReporters, the likes of President Muhammadu Buhari, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai and others have made highly sensitive statements.
Election Is Do-Or-Die Affair – Obasanjo
A former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, while preparing for general elections in February 2007 had said the elections would be a do-or-die affair for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Obasanjo had noted that his party would do everything to stop some politicians from leading the nation as from May 29.
He said, “It is left to you to ensure that we elect credible and committed leaders. I commend those of you in the PDP for your efforts so far. You must remain committed to the party. I will campaign. This election is a do-or-die affair for me and the PDP. This coming election is a matter of life and death for the PDP and Nigeria.”
They Do It To Get Money In Their Bank Accounts – El-Rufai Blasts Southern Kaduna Leaders Over Killings
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, in August 2020 accused Southern Kaduna leaders of instigating killings in their own communities so as to get money into their bank accounts.
The governor blamed them for the ongoing crisis, saying, “I have no time for nonsense.”
He said, “I have no time for nonsense. I will not appease criminals. I will not appease idle people who have nothing to do but raise a spectre of genocide. They do that to get money into their bank accounts and get donations from abroad instead of standing up. Anyone that is moderate; anyone that is promoting peaceful co-existence between various ethnic groups is considered a sell-out,” he had said.
They Will Return In Bodybags – El-Rufai
The Kaduna State Governor in the 2019 election has said foreign observers who tries to intervene in the electoral process would go back in body bags.
El-Rufai made the comments during a discussion programme on the Nigerian Television Authority when the topic of the international community’s role in elections was raised.
The discussion about the role of foreign countries in elections was raised on the programme in which reference was made to concerns expressed by the European Union, the United States and Britain over the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen over allegedly breaching asset-declaration rules.
“We are waiting for the person who will come and intervene. They will go back in body bags because nobody will come to Nigeria and tell us how to run our country,” said El-Rufai.
“We have got that independence and we are trying to run our country as decently as possible,” he said.
Fulani Herdsmen Need To Carry AK-47 Rifle to Defend Themselves – Bauchi Governor
The Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, was recently called out for saying Fulani herdsmen need to be armed and defend themselves if need be, through killings.
On February 11, 2021, Mohammed said herdsmen need the AK-47 rifles to defend themselves from cattle rustlers and other challenges encountered on the road.
“It is not his fault, it is the fault of the government and the people,” he had said.
Even if schools close for eight months, I remain constituted authority – Late Ajimobi
Late former Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, during an interaction with aggrieved students of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, who staged a protest to his office over the closure of their school in January 2017 had threatened to close their school for eight months.
But the governor felt they were unruly.
“You are complaining that your school has been shut for eight months. Am I the person who closed your school? If you want to go violent, we are here waiting for you. Whatever you want to do, do it. You are supposed to have little respect for constituted authority, no matter what,” the governor had yelled at the students.
I am Richer Than Osun State – Tinubu Boasts
The National leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, stirred controversies in September 2018 when he said he is richer than Osun State as a whole.
The former Governor of Lagos State stated this in front of the Ataoja of Osogbo, Jimoh Olanipekun, some states do not even have enough money from which a person of his calibre could ‘steal’.
Addressing the Osogbo monarch, he said, “People may be saying that Jagaban, Asiwaju has appointed someone to help him plunder Osun’s funds and all, and I ask them: ‘How much exactly do you (Osun State) even have?’
“Kabiyesi I don’t want to say this in front of you but, Osun is not as rich as I am, that one would steal. I only want to help this state.”
South-East Will Be Treated In Language They Understand – Buhari
Buhari in a post on Twitter on Tuesday stated that his government will get “harder” on those hell-bent on destroying the country.
“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”