John Shiklam in Kaduna
Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, on Thursday said President Muhammadu Buhari forced him to run for the governorship of the state.
According to him, without the encouragement he received from Buhari, who was the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), he wouldn’t have been governor of the state.
He also said he would have lost the election if not for the card reader introduced by the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC).
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the two-day Kaduna Investment Forum which held at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Indoor Sports Hall, Murtala Square, Kaduna, the governor maintained that without the card reader, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would have robbed him of victory at the polls.
“It was President Buhari that forced me to contest for the governorship race of Kaduna State in revenge for persuading him to run the presidential race.
“If he had not asked me to run for the governorship, I wouldn’t have stood before you today as the governor of the state.
“It is the Buhari phenomenon that had swept away the PDP. Buhari is a man of integrity, a Nigerian leader whose name has not been found in the Panama documents,” he said.
According to him, “The president inherited 16 years of impunity, and it will take time to clean it up, so all Nigerians need to be patient with him. And with the quality of leaders we have in the country, Nigeria will take its rightful place in the comity of nations.
“I thank the people Kaduna State for voting for us, we did not pay kobo to get those votes, if it were in those days without the card reader, we would have lost the election.
“I promise you, we will keep working until we make this state a better place for you.”
He disclosed that the biggest poultry/hatchery in sub-Saharan Africa, worth $150million would be established by Olam Group in the state, adding that the ground breaking foundation laying ceremony of the project will take place today (Friday) in Gwagwada village, 24 kilometres away from the state capital.
The governor also disclosed that Dangote Group had indicated interest in establishing a $10million dollar tomato farming and processing company in the state.
Explaining why investors should embrace business opportunities in the state, el-Rufai said Kaduna is a gateway to Northern Nigerian market with effective land management, raw and material availability among others.
He said the state government would adopt the federal government’s formula for developing the solid minerals sector in order to boost the economy.