British election observers have said Kaduna State governor, Nasir El Rufai’s statement on body bags was not referring to international observers.
The spokesperson for the British High Commission, David Smith, who spoke to newsmen on Friday, said the statement was taken out of context.
El-Rufai was speaking on a live programme on NTA when he criticised the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union for questioning the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.
He had said, “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.”
Smith, who insisted that El-Rufai was not referring to international observers, explained that the British Commission contacted him after the statement generated controversies.
He said the governor assured them of their safety.
Smith added that foreign observers do not plan to interfere in the elections but to monitor and inform the international community of the process.
He said, “Governor El-Rufai’s comment was taken out of context. He was not referring to international observers who were observing the election. He was speaking about something different and members of the British High Commission have been in contact with the governor, who has given the strongest assurances that observers are very welcome and safe across Nigeria and would be protected.
“A number of protective measures are in place for our observers in Nigeria; our mission will be protected by security agents in the country, who would be protecting the voting booths and polling stations.
“Our observers are not there to interfere or take any other role. They are there to ensure that the international community is aware that the election is free, fair and peaceful.”
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