Following outrage over his audiotaped threat of violence against the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, the Kaduna State Governor, Ramalan Yero, has backtracked, calling on his supporters instead to remain calm and law-abiding.
Speaking at the swearing in ceremony of sole administrators of the 23 Local Government Areas of the state on Tuesday, Mr. Yero condemned the unwarranted harassment and intimidation of innocent citizens of Kaduna allegedly by supporters of the APC during a campaign rally on Monday.
“I want to call on PDP supporters and indeed all affected residents of Kaduna to remain calm and not take laws into their own hands no matter the level of intimidation and harassment,” Mr. Yero said. “We all witnessed what happened in Kaduna on Monday, where people hired by the opposition party went about harassing innocent citizens and destroying properties of the PDP. This is a clear attempt at throwing Kaduna into chaos.
“I thank the people of the State for ignoring the agents of destruction. Rather than canvass for support peacefully and showcasing its manifesto for people of the state, leaders of the APC resorted to hiring people to intimidate innocent people. The people of Kaduna state are now better enlightened on the difference between a truly democratic party and one that is bent on taking power through violence.”
The governor urged the security operatives in the state to investigate Monday’s incident and ensure the protection of the lives and properties of the people of the state. “Because some people are desperate on capturing power not by the ballot but by the brutal use of thuggery,” he said.
Mr. Yero also called on the newly appointed sole administrators to ensure peaceful coexistence in their domains.
“You may recall that we had earlier scheduled this event for Monday, but to provide level playground for all parties, we shifted our event to today. It is unfortunate that rather than respect this gesture, the opposition instructed their supporters to attack our campaign tools and properties while also intimidating the peaceful people of the state.”
The governor promised to ensure the safety of all citizens of Kaduna State and their property.
The governor had earlier denied threatening to attack the APC and his governorship, Nasir El Rufai, despite audio evidence.
At an event last week, the governor had vowed swift revenge against the opposition if his team was attacked. He also threatened to bar Mr. El Rufai from entering Kaduna. He threatened to demolish Mr. El Rufai’s property in the city.