Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) has said that Governor Nasir el-Rufai was heating up the polity with religious sentiment.
Reacting to the governor’s recent comment that 67 per cent of Christians in Southern Kaduna would not vote for him, even if he nominated the Pope as his running mate, the people said the result of the general elections in the state would not be determined by ethno-religious factor.
SOKAPU officials said yesterday that “despite our measured and steadfast resolve to ignore this issue, considering the emotional reaction the interview generated, it has, however, become imperative to speak and correct the deliberate misinformation, negative stereotyping and the generalisation that was devoid of logic or fact.”
The national public relations officer, Yakubu Kuzamani, stated: “The fact is that Christians in Southern Kaduna do not hate Governor el-Rufai, but we abhor his deliberate policy aimed at reducing our people into political [nobodies].
“With the general elections approaching, the governor has been peddling this falsehood at several events. We declare emphatically that our people and members, who include both Christians and Muslims, do not hate any politician on account of their religion. The governor’s assertions are merely the figments of his imagination and should be ignored.”
According to Kuzamani, the deliberate falsehood manufactured by the governor is punctured by the fact that Christians in Southern Kaduna have been voting Muslims as governors since the creation of the state.
Muslim that had been elected as governors in Kaduna before el-Rufai include Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Alhaji Dabo Lere, Alhaji Mohammed Makarfi and Mohammed Namadi Sambo.
The group asserted that election of the above-mentioned were not based on religious sentiment, but competence and merit.
SOKAPU added: “Governor el-Rufai was a direct beneficiary of that in 2015 when Christians voted for him.
“If Christians in Southern Kaduna voted for him in 2015, against the sitting governor, Alhaji Ramalan Yero, a fellow Muslim, why is he now alleging that Christians would not vote for him? What did he do now that he is alleging rejection by Christians? How did the governor arrive at the 67 per cent figure of Christians that he alleged would not vote for him? What is he really planning?”
They advised el-Rufai to be a governor to all. “He should stand for all, speak for all and protect all. He should be the one dousing tension and rallying all for unity, instead of unnecessarily heating up the political atmosphere in the state.”