Really, it was reckless of Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna state governor, to have unabashedly promised a festival of blood-letting for foreigners who may want to “interfere” with this month’s election.
Although I understand the statement could have been a “blurt-out”; a slip-up spurred by a moment in the haze of bright lights and intrusive cameras, it is difficult to excuse his indiscretion.
But beyond the inciteful fount of his statement, there is also “discrimination” in the chosen item for dispatch – “body-bags”. This is me being wry.
Nigerians know too well that the dead here are not accorded any form of dignity, especially those who died in “unsexy” circumstances. They often do not have the luxury of being put in body-bags. At best, a mass of murdered innocents is hauled into wheelbarrows and carted off into mass graves.
Sometimes, the bodies are mutilated or their parts sold to ritualists. There is no dignity for the dead here – the scorned remains of those brutally killed in banditry, Boko Haram and cattle-rustling attacks tell it all.
In 2015, some members of a sect were killed in Kaduna under el- Rufai, but I doubt they had the dignity of being put in the governor’s “body-bags”. They were hurriedly buried in shallow graves, and perhaps, conveyed to that final place of humiliation in wheelbarrows and Keke-NAPEP.
Permit me to be sarcastic, body-bags for foreigners, and mass graves for locals?
Life is cheap in Nigeria.
At this time, it only takes a perfunctory and combustible utterance from a politician, and the relative peace we have enjoyed is threatened. Little annoyances and careless statements put all of us in jeopardy.
The peace accord signed in 2018 was for a reason. Politicians on both sides – the APC and the PDP – should understand that there will be no country to govern if they keep fanning the flames of violence.
A few days ago, Uche Secondus, PDP national chairman, threatened that there would be war if the election was rigged. He is guilty of the same sin as el-Rufai.
Really, the statements of both men suggest that they are not in this tussle for Nigerians, but for themselves. If truly they care about citizens, they will work at keeping the peace, veering off from words and actions that could set fire to a house already suffused with gas stench.
The blood of Nigerians or anyone is too costly a price to be paid for the ambition of the APC and the PDP.
Nigeria should win in this election. And that begins with the exercise being violence-free, and free and fair.
Let us for once have an election where no one has to die.