by Sani Tukur
The Governor of Kaduna state, Ramalan Yero, has threatened to call out his supporters to inflict damage on the opposition All Progressives Congress [APC] if his team is ever attacked while campaigning.
Speaking in Hausa language to his supporters at the opening of his campaign on Monday, Mr. Yero vowed swift “revenge” if ever attacked by any one “born of woman”.
“If you are born of a woman, please pelt us with stones, when we go out for campaigns. We dare you to destroy or burn our vehicles. Burn our House,” the governor said. “I swear by Allah, anyone who does any of these things, we will revenge.”
The remarks came as an escalation of an already tense electioneering ahead of February polls, seen in Kaduna State as a contest mainly between the governor and a former Minister, Nasir El Rufai, of the APC.
In the last two weeks, there have been incidents of political violence in Rivers, Plateau and Gombe States, where supporters of different political parties launched gun attacks on opponents, bombed party offices and torched campaign vehicles.
Mr. Yero spoke days after all presidential candidates for the February elections committed to non-violence before, during and after the polls.
Addressing his supporters, a furious Mr. Yero threatened to stop Mr. El-Rufai from entering Kaduna State henceforth.
PREMIUM TIMES obtained an audio recording of the governor apparently addressing his supporters and threatening violence against Mr. El-Rufai.
He said as governor, he has the power to stop the former minister from even leaving his house.
“If I say you should not come to Kaduna, I swear you cannot come. If I say you should not leave your house, I swear you cannot leave,” Mr. Yero said.
Despite being the home state of Vice President Namadi Sambo, Kaduna, the former capital of the northern part of Nigeria, also has a strong APC base, giving Mr. El Rufai wide support too.
As Minister of the FCT, Mr. El-Rufai’s administration demolished several homes and other structures the government said were illegal or built in contravention of Abuja’s master plan.
In his address, Mr. Yero said he also has the power to demolish the former Minister’s house if he wishes to.
“If I say they should demolish your House, I swear by Allah, they would demolish it immediately,” he said. “If you think we cannot do it, try us and see, continue with what you are doing, by God’s grace we will show you,” Mr. Yero said.
Mr. Yero also threatened to deal with APC supporters if they dare attack the campaign trail of the PDP.