Members of the Southern Kaduna Political Summit Group, drawn from various ethnic nationalities in the area, have declared that governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai’s re-election in 2019 will be based on performance and not religion.
In a communiqué signed by Mark Jacob and Simon Reef Musa, the convener and secretary of the group respextively, the participants assessed the socio political and economi realities of the people and the state, noting that religion wouldnot play a role in determining support for any governorship candidate.According to the communiqué, “On the issue of Muslim-Muslim ticket as adopted by governor el-Rufai and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna State, the Southern Kaduna Political Summit Group posited that it is the constitutional right of the governor to pick his running mate. The summit is therefore unperturbed by his choice of Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, who hails from Sanga local government area, as his running mate.
“The summit happily notes that if his choice for a Muslim to run on the ticket with him was done in bad faith with a view to creating religious dissension and infuse division of our people, he has failed.
“In view of the above, the meeting affirmed that Southern Kaduna people identify with Dr Balarabe as our sister and uphold her professional achievements with great pride.
“However, we note that the guber election of 2019 in Kaduna State has nothing to do with her as a person, her origin or religion; rather the election will be based upon the record of performance of the standard bearer of her party in the past three and a half years and his disposition towards the Southern Kaduna people.
“Southern Kaduna electorates will scrutinise his achievements and style of governance in the past three and a half years and decide whether he deserves to be rewarded with another term in office.
“Participants at the meeting recalled the injustice and premeditated killings of Southern Kaduna natives by herdsmen, with attendant decimation of our communities by murderers that have left our people desolate and threaten the future of our people.
“The summit group lamented the total neglect of the zone by both the state and the federal government in terms of projects, security, political appointments, among others, in the past three and half years.
“Members at the meeting also sought to find out why governorship ticket has turned out a mirage in the nation’s two dominant political parties for Southern Kaduna indigenes ahead of 2019 polls, among other important matters.”
Condemning the state governor for deliberate refusal to embark on development projects in the area, the group called on Southern Kaduna people to “stop being mere observers/critics/commentators, but should show interest and take active roles in politics by registering as members of any political party of their choice, especially at the grassroots level to actively participate in deciding candidates for elections. In a situation where grassroots politics is left to few hands that are susceptible to the manipulations of a few wealthy individuals, the meeting averred, that the hope of getting patriotic politicians into elected offices will continue to be dominated by unseen economic bulldogs who are determined to impose their cronies in the corridors of power. To this end, participants called for intensive mobilisation of the electorate in our various communities to ensure our people fully participate in the electoral process without let or hindrance”.
The group also called on politicians from Southern Kaduna “to build structures and build bridges across the various zones of the state in order to set up a formidable political machinery capable of enhancing the prospects of the zone producing the governor of the state”.