By John Shiklam in Kaduna
A former Secretary of the Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Joseph Hayab, has declared that the state governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai has no moral right to call anybody a bigot.
Hayab, in a statement issued yesterday in Kaduna, maintained that since el- Rufai became governor of Kaduna State, his insulting and denigrating comments have polarised the state.
“Happenings in our dear Kaduna State for over three years now, especially some recent statements by the governor, have compelled me to speak as a citizen and a stakeholder who believes in the unity and diversity of Nigeria.
“It seems that Governor el-Rufai takes pleasure in making bad and inciting comments about others but unable to bear or reason that his leadership style is worse than that of those he is quick to accuse” Hayab said.
He recalled that “when some Christian leaders years back complained about how he (el-Rufai), made mockery of Jesus on his Twitter handle, it seemed then that they deliberately accused him of such a recklessness for political reasons, but little did we realise that such inflammatory comments were el-Rufai’s trademarks.”
He maintained that “since el-Rufai became the governor of Kaduna State, many of his utterances have been either to insult or denigrate some individuals or group of people.”
Hayab said el-Rufai’s recent tweet accusing a former governor of Anambra State and vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi, of being ‘a tribal bigot’ “clearly shows that the governor needs to go and look at himself in the mirror”.
He said although he is not from South-east, but a visit to Anambra State and meeting people on the streets of Awka and Onitsha shows that Obi as governor of Anambra State, led with an exemplary leadership style of tolerance and promoted peaceful coexistence “unlike el-Rufai who has polarised Kaduna State with divisive actions and inciting utterances.
“My dear Governor el-Rufai, you cannot go to the social media every now and then making divisive statements about the population of our dear state, only to come back to accuse other Nigerians of being bigots”.
“For you to have the moral right to accuse others as bigots you need to check and re-examine yourself in the mirror to ascertain if you are not worse off.
“It is public knowledge how you have threatened Shiites, SOKAPU (Southern Kaduna Peoples Union) and even the Nigerian Army aside from those who hold different political views.
“Does el-Rufai assume that the silence of many indigenes of Kaduna State and other well-meaning Nigerians on his actions is a sign of weakness or are people ignorant of the high level of polarisation that his leadership style has brought to Kaduna State?
“My investigation shows that when M Obi was Governor of Anambra State, he worked peaceably with three Commissioners of Police from the North of Nigeria including Alhaji Amusa Bello, Gwary Usman and CP Leha.
“In comparison to Obi, please, el-Rufai should tell Nigerians how many heads of security agencies in Kaduna State during his tenure were/are from the other parts of the country?
“From el-Rufai’s utterances and actions, one becomes skeptical if anyone from another part of Nigeria other than the core north could work as Commissioner of Police or Head of DSS in Kaduna without the Governor asking the authorities in Abuja to transfer such with immediate effect.
“My dear governor, please stop your divisive and distractive statements and actions and look inward to remove the speck from your eyes before attempting to help remove the splinter in others”.