A popular Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, has said going by the culture and environment of Kaduna State, the state is not ripe for a Muslim-Muslim governorship ticket.
He said such ticket could create more tension in the violence-prone state, and that people of other ethnic groups and religions should be assimilated and not pushed out.
Mr Gumi who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES at his residence in Kaduna was reacting to a statement he was said to have made with regards to the Muslim-Muslim ticket in the state which went viral on social media.
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The political atmosphere in Kaduna State turned a new chapter when the incumbent governor, Nasir El-Rufai of the All Progressives Congress (APC), announced his choice of Hadiza Balarabe, who is at present the executive secretary of the Kaduna State Primary Health Care Agency (SPHCA), as his running mate.
Mrs Balarabe, like the governor, is a Muslim.
She hails from Sanga Local Government Area of Southern Kaduna, a Christian dominated zone.
Mr El-Rufai on Tuesday defended his decision.
“From the beginning, I had told my team that I will never choose or deny anyone appointment because of religion or ethnicity,” the governor said.
“But some people have started all manner of things, ‘Muslim-Muslim ticket’ and so on. But government house is not a place of worship, we come here to work for the people.
“The people that have criticized me most on this are people who never voted me in the first place. So, are they not supposed to be celebrating if in their own opinion I have made a wrong choice? Then, why are they mourning?” Mr El-Rufai said while hosting a delegation from Sanga local government.
The governor’s choice has provoked heated comments especially from residents who fear it would further divide the troubled state that has suffered from several ethno-religious crises in recent years. Curfew was only recently lifted in parts of the state where dozens were killed in such violence.
According to Mr Gumi, there is need for the minority indigenous people to be given political representation in any state, depending on their population.
Asked if he thinks the Kaduna Muslim-Muslim Ticket is politically motivated, he said, “The question on whether it’s politically motivated or not, I don’t think there is any individual who thinks otherwise.”
“Everybody knows that it’s politically motivated. Everybody knows that. What I’m saying and I specifically said is that you look at the time, the situation, the culture, the environment before you make such a move.
“What I feel is that it’s not yet the time. It is not right, especially coming a week after some people who lost lives innocently. Somebody is killed on the road, why? Because of his identity.