European Union condemns Katsina Gov. Shema’s “cockroach” speech

Ibrahim Shema, Katsina State Governor

The European High Commission on Thursday in Abuja condemned a speech made by Katsina State governor, Ibrahim Shema, urging his supporters to attack his political opponents and treat them as “cockroaches”.

The Head, EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Michael Arrion, told journalists that Mr. Shema’s call to his supporters to “kill” and “crush” political opponents was “extremely dangerous and unacceptable”.

“If it is confirmed, that kind of statements are I’m sorry to say, extremely dangerous and unacceptable,” Mr. Arrion said.

Mr. Shema was caught in a video urging his supporters to reprise any provocation by the opposition and to crush them like “cockroaches”.

He asked the crowd what to do if they found the nocturnal insect in their apartments.

The crowd chorused “Kill them!”

“Crush them!” the governor responded, agreeing with the crowd.

Referring to Rwanda’s 1994 pre-genocide statements made by Hutus against the Tutsis, Mr. Arrion said politicians must desist from using such hateful words and comments.


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He also said the EU will be giving financial support to Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

He said a team of EU observers will be arriving Nigeria at the beginning of next year, 2015 to ensure a smooth election process.

The team unlike their predecessors, he said will be spending four months in Nigeria.

He said the presence of “the long term observers” will enable the EU to monitor the election and post-election processes.

The observers will also be saddled with the responsibility of monitoring technical issues, voters turn out, percentage of Nigerians given the opportunity to vote, legal frameworks among others.

“We are going to have a few dozens of observers, we cannot have observers at all polling units,” he said.

On European investments, Mr. Arrion said Nigeria must ensure an enabling legal environment to attract European investors.

He said that while Nigeria has all it takes -resources – it must create an enabling environment for business to trip.

He explained that the commission does not get involved in decision of investors.

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