Stakeholders in Southern Kaduna have described the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kaduna State as an affront to the dignity of the people of the region.
The State APC governorship candidate, Senator Uba Sani, had penultimate week announced the State governor, Nasir el-Rufai’s deputy, Hadiza Balarabe, a fellow Muslim, as his running mate for the 2023 governorship election.
However, the Southern Kaduna people, who are mainly Christians, expressed shock over such an appointment, wondering if there was no single Christian member of the APC from the zone that was qualified to be a running mate to the APC candidate, even when they formed the most educated, experienced, exposed and loyal party officials in the State.
This was even as a Kaduna-based Islamic Cleric, Sheik Halliru Abdullahi Maraya, has said that it is wrong for any Muslim to support a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the 2023 presidential election.
Maraya, who is the former Special Adviser on Islamic Matters and Hajj to the Late Governor Ibrahim Yakowa, of the State, said such a one-faith joint ticket is at variance with the spirit of justice that the religion of Islam promotes and defends at all times. According to him, “For a political party to have Muslims as its National Chairman, Presidential candidate and Vice-Presidential candidate, such a party is indeed not in a position to say it promotes and defends the spirit of justice, fairness and equity”.
Corroborating the same position, the Kaduna State Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Joseph Hayab, said political parties fielding same faith tickets will not make Christians lose sleep over such insults and intimidation.
Reacting to the Muslim-Muslim ticket, the Spokesman of SOKAPU, Mr. Luka Binniyat, said: “In 2019, governor Nasir el-Rufa’i brought in a fellow Muslim in the person of Dr. Hadiza Balarabe as his running mate to spite us Christians and make a statement that Muslims alone can produce a governor in Kaduna State. But it is not a hidden fact that even the most ardent supporters of the governor believe that el-Rufa’i did not win the 2019 gubernatorial election despite the outcome of the electoral tribunal.
“All fair-minded residents of Kaduna State believe that el-Rufa’i couldn’t have won the 2019 elections with his inhuman policies, tragic security situation and the introduction of a strange all-Muslim ticket. That Senator Uba Sani still decided on the same Muslim-Muslim ticked of el-Rufa’i is to confirm the fears of Southern Kaduna that the Senator has no reconciliatory intention with Southern Kaduna if elected.
“It is also to confirm that the exclusive, discriminatory and biased policies of el-Rufa’i towards the people of Southern Kaduna would be sustained if not made worse when Uba Sani is elected governor.
Kaduna State has an estimated 10.3 million residents fairly divided between its Muslim North and Christian South, though the Christian side has 12 of the 23 LGAs of Kaduna State.