The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has asked the international community to go beyond merely observing the conduct of the forthcoming general elections.
He made the appeal on Friday when the European Union Ambassador, Ketil Carlson, along with his team of EU observers visited him (Wike) at the Government House in Port Harcourt.
Making reference to the comments by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-rufai, in which he warned foreigners not to interfere in the internal affairs of the country, Wike said the EU ought to take more proactive measures against such threats.
He said, “I thought that you people would have come up heavily to say, “to show we’re serious, we cannot accept this”.
“Not merely saying: “well, we will not be deterred by your threat”.
“Having made that statement alone is enough to cause a lot of disaffection and could even make people to pull out from the whole thing.
“If they could threaten foreign observers, then what would happen to those of us who are mere opposition.
“Which means they have planned how they will kill, for the sake that they want to remain in power.
“So I urge you and your partner to come out heavy on us.
“Not merely saying: “If you do anything that would compromise elections or cause violence, we will sanction you by withdrawing your visa.
“What can cause violence than this kind of statement by the governor of Kaduna State.
“What can be more violent than that kind of statement and that is why I said, you know where the crisis or where the problem is. We are handicapped, we have no security agencies to cause crisis, we don’t have the power.
“If we were not prepared for this election, probably we would have been talking about trying to instigate people to cause crisis. It’s not to our advantage. We are prepared for elections.
“When you use the word “observing”, it is not just mere observing”.
Governor El-Rufai had, on Tuesday warned that anyone who attempts to meddle in Nigeria’s internal affairs especially as the general elections draw closer will return to their countries in body bags.
“Those that are calling for anyone to come and intervene in Nigeria, we are waiting for the person that would come and intervene, they would go back in body bags,” he said in an interview on NTA’s Tuesday Live.
The comments came days after the Federal Government accused the US, UK and the EU of interference.
Backing the Federal Government’s position, the Governor said individual countries had no right to violate Nigeria’s sovereignty.
The comments drew reactions from members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who said it was capable of inciting violence, as well as the EU.