A Kaduna politician has been caught on video inciting violence against those who “betray” his party.
Ben Bako, the Director of Media and Publicity of the Kaduna State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Committee, was caught on video asking his supporters to deal with “those who betray” him and his party.
Mr Bako, the immediate past information commissioner in Kaduna State, was seen in the video obtained by PREMIUM TIMES Friday telling a crowd at a campaign rally to “deal” with whoever votes against the interest of PDP.
We gathered that Mr Bako made the threat while speaking in Hausa at a rally in Kafanchan, Southern Kaduna on Thursday.
Mr Bako’s inciting comments come despite the various calls for a violence-free election.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), for instance, in its new year message to Nigerians called for peaceful elections.
A statement signed by Bayo Oladeji, the media assistant to CAN President Samson Ayokunle noted that “the year 2019 is a crucial year for all Nigerians because it is a year of general election. I, therefore, urge all Nigerians to make sure that they abide in peace without being involved in violence throughout the year, especially before, during and after the election.”
Also, the European Union, United States, and the United Kingdom late last year demanded a process that would herald free, fair, transparent and peaceful elections in the country.
They made the demand in a joint statement signed by the embassies of the various governments in Nigeria.
“As friends of Nigeria and its people, we will follow the campaigns and election process closely. Who wins the elections is for the Nigerian people to decide. Our concern is to see a process leading to free, fair, transparent and peaceful elections,” they said.
Efforts by PREMIUM TIMES to get the comments of Mr Bako on why he made the statements were unsuccessful. He did not answer or return our calls. He also did not respond to a text message seeking for comments at the time of publishing this story.
Mr Bako’s comments come days after the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, made a controversial statement against foreign intervention in Nigeria’s elections.
Mr Bako is a member of the PDP whose candidate, Isa Ashiru, seeks to replace Mr El-Rufai of the APC as the Kaduna governor.
The governorship and state assembly elections will hold on March 2, two weeks after the presidential and National Assembly elections which hold on February 16.
Below is the full transcript of the video:
Bako: If they touch your votes deal with them.
They are now begging that the military should be brought on election day; we wanted Soldiers when our people were being killed, did they bring them?
Bako: Did they bring the Police? Why should soldiers be brought during election?
Bako: Are we fighting? It is just election. Why should they bring soldiers? To guard whose mother?
The crowd: Their mothers
Bako: Be watchful in your areas during election; anyone you see voting differently is a betrayer. He is one of those being used by those in Kaduna. After the election and you come back what are you going to do?
Crowd: Deal with them.
Bako: What are we going to do with those who betray us?
Crowd: Kill them.
Bako: What are you going to do to them?
Crowd: Kill them.
Bako: What of those who collect money?
Crowd: We kill them.
Bako: That is it.