One of the sons of Governor Nasir El-rufai of Kaduna State has apologised over a tweet suggesting the rape of a Twitter user’s mother.
Bello El-rufai, 32, on Sunday threatened to “pass to his friends” the mother of @thanos_zer after a Twitter disagreement escalated.
“Oh and tell your mother I’m passing her to my friends tonight. No Igbo sounds please!” Mr. El-rufai had said in a private message to @thanos_zer.
The private message was later made public and elicited outrage on social media, with several civil society groups calling for Mr. El-rufai’s prosecution under the Cybercrime Act.
His mother, Hadiza, also appeared to condone her son’s behaviour after she responded to the tweet saying “all is fair in love and war.”
Mrs. El-rufai later apologised for her tweet, saying she would “never condone sexual abuse in any shape or form.”
But her son, for much of the week, stood by his tweet and only seemingly caved in to pressure on Friday.
In his apology Friday afternoon, Mr. El-rufai, who works as a legislative aide to a Kaduna senator, said the comments were made “in the heat of the moment.”
“A few days ago I made a comment that was wrong, unbecoming and contrary to the values on which I was raised. I wish to withdraw that statement and apologise to the gentleman concerned for the hurtful comment,” he said.
“I also apologise for appearing to attack an entire ethnic group for the misdeed of one person. I regret the sexual innuendo in the private message and apologise unreservedly for it.
“I wish to state very strongly that the statement was made during the heat of the moment and I wish to put on the record that I do not condone sexual violence.”
Mr. El-rufai said he does not believe that there can be any justification for gender-based crimes, adding that he is learning from the episode in the continuous journey of emerging as a better person.
“I have apologised to my mother in person. I have also reached out to the women in my life and apologised,” he said.
“I realise that the intensity around this matter stems partly from my surname. The mistakes I made with the private message and in smearing an ethnic group because of one person are now being replicated by people that are attacking my parents and my family because of my conduct.
“I am one of many children in a family raised with standards of decency and strong values of which my recent conduct has fallen short. I appreciate the time that friends and loved ones have taken to show me the error of my ways.
“I apologise to the general public in recognition of the duty to acknowledge wrongdoing and strive to be better.”