U.S. Condemns Katsina Governor Over Harmful Comment

Governor Ibrahim Shema

Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State

Simon Ateba

The United States Government said on Thursday that it is ‎deeply troubled by Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema of Katsina State’s recent statements calling for the killing of the “cockroaches of politics.”

“The rhetorical threat of violence undermines the democratic process and is utterly unacceptable in a democratic society,” The U.S. Embassy in Abuja said in a statement.

“The United States reiterates its call upon all Nigerians to refrain from advocating, fomenting, or condoning violence before, during, or after the elections.‎”

Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State
Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State

As Nigeria looks ahead to the February 2015 general elections, the Mission said, the U.S. strongly supports a free, transparent, credible, inclusive, and non-violent electoral process.

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“Participants in the electoral process must demonstrate passion for their convictions and beliefs in a manner that shows respect for opposing differences.

“The Nigerian Constitution itself states it is the duty of every citizen to “respect the dignity of other citizens and the rights and legitimate interests of citizens to live in unity and harmony,”  the statement read.

The Mission said language that threatens or incites violence short-circuits the democratic process.

“All Nigerians must be free to voice their opinions and participate in the electoral process without fear of physical retribution.  Political parties, elected leaders, and candidates for office have a special obligation to uphold these democratic precepts.”

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