EL-RUFAI AND MUSLIM-MUSLIM TICKET IN KADUNA
Until recently, Nasir el-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State, was projected as one of the possible future leaders that would take Nigeria to greater heights. His strides as FCT Minister in restoring the Abuja master plan threw him up as a hard-nosed reformer.
But his nepotistic misadventures in Abuja land grab scandal, fat allowances to youth corps girls friends, and wicked implementation of demolitions in the nation’s capital revealed his character flaws.
His stint as the Governor of the old capital of Northern Region, Kaduna, has done more damage to his persona. He confessed that he paid the killer-herdsmen to dissuade them from further killings in their host communities. As a Fulani man in power, he needed to pat his fellow ethnic brothers on the back to stop the killing spree.
He broached no opposition. He ordered the demolition of Senator Suleiman Hunkuli’s house in Kaduna because the factional APC in the state used the house as their office. He had running battles with Senator Shehu Sani until he left APC for PRP.
In the build-up to the 2015 elections, he struck a deal with the Shiites to campaign and vote out the PDP in power. But when el-Rufai assumed power, he allied with the federal forces and other Sunni Muslims to strangulated the sect. He declared them a terrorist group and banned their activities in his state. In a national television, el-Rufai referred to the sect leader, El-Zakzaky as a beast.
Under his watch, Kaduna has remained tension-soaked. His incendiary remarks have not helped matters. The nomination of Mrs Hadiza Balarabe, a fellow Muslim like el-Rufai, as deputy governorship candidate is a politically explosive decision, considering the ethno-religious configuration of the state.
The state has 3 senatorial zones. Kaduna North is predominantly Muslims, South is predominantly Christians, while Central has 60% Muslims and 40% Christians. Over the years, the North and the Central largely produced the governors while the South produced the deputies. Though, Hadiza is from the South, her Muslim religion from a Christian-dominated milieu made her choice an expensive issue.
While el-Rufai has defended her choice on grounds of capacity and Buhari’s endorsement, it is always politically correct to take decisions that would promote stability and heal old wounds. Having lost a number of lives since the return to civil rule in 1999, what Southern Kaduna needs now is human face treatment through consultations, and not pomp of power of executive fiat.
On Muslim-Muslim ticket in Kaduna, el-Rufai goofed!
(Dr. Jasper Uche wrote from Enugu )