With Governor Nasir El-Rufai picking the Executive Secretary, Kaduna State Primary Health Care Agency, Dr. Hadiza Abubakar Balarabe as his running mate in next year’s gubernatorial poll, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) settling for a Muslim-Muslim ticket, the governor appears to have set the stage for another unrest in the volatile state.
Governor el-Rufai announced his choice following the decision of Deputy Governor, Bala Barnabas Bantex, not to join el-Rufai in the 2019 race preferring to represent the people of Southern Kaduna Senatorial District at the Senate on the platform of the same party.
But not only are tempers rising and nerves frayed over the development, the Christian community in the state, and the predominantly Christian Southern Kaduna people have lambasted el-Rufai for the alleged misstep, saying the action may further fragment the state and promote disunity in a multi-cultural and multi-religious society, just coming out of crisis.
Furthermore, critics are of the view that his claims that the move was part of deliberate policy to promote women’s participation in governance, has failed to take cognizance of inherent geo-political idiosyncracies in the state, just as it smacks of insensitivity on his part.
Already, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the North, yesterday, said the declaration might pitch the people against one another and exacerbate the prevailing political unrest.
Spokesman of CAN in the 19 northern states, Rev Joseph Hayap, said: “We all know that a governorship candidate is at liberty to choose anyone as running mate, but that liberty does not mean the governor should not be reasonable and considerate, with regard to the sensitivity of the area he governs and the challenges of the environment where he is operating.
“What some people are saying is that he is trying to encourage women. But doesn’t Southern Kaduna have Christian women eminently qualified than the person he nominated? By doing this, he is telling us the kind of governor he will be in 2019.
“It is now left to us in Southern Kaduna to tell the world whether this is the kind of governor we want in 2019 or not. I think the decision lies in our hands. We need a governor that will unite Kaduna and not divide it.”