By John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Southern Kaduna Political Group (SKPG) has said that the governorship election in Kaduna State will largely be determined by performance and not by religious sentiments.
The group also said that Governor Nasir el-Rufai has failed if his intention of a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the 2019 governorship election was aimed at creating religious dissension and infuse division among the people.
In a communique issued on Wednesday in Kaduna at the end of a meeting, which held in Kafanchan between November 16 and 17, 2018, the group noted that although, the governor has the constitutional right to pick his running mate, it however, maintained that his choice was made with the aim of whipping up religious sentiments.
The group, in the communique signed by its convener, Mr. Mark Jacob, a former Justice commissioner in Kaduna State and the secretary, Mr. Simon Reef Musa, said it was unperturbed by the governor’s choice of Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, who hails from Sanga Local Government Area, as his running mate.
“The summit happily notes that if his choice for a Muslim to run on the ticket with him was done in bad faith with a view to creating religious dissension and infuse division of our people, he has failed” the group said.
According to the communique, “The Southern Kaduna people identify with Dr. Balarabe as our sister and uphold her professional achievements with great pride, but the governorship election in the state has nothing to do with her as a person, her origin or religion; rather the election will be based upon the record of performance of the flag bearer of the party in the past three and a half years and his disposition towards the Southern Kaduna people.”
The communique stressed that the Southern Kaduna electorate will scrutinise el-Rufai’s achievements and style of governance in the past three and a half years and decide whether he deserves to be rewarded with another term in office.
The group decried the total neglect of Southern Kaduna senatorial zone by the state and the federal governments led by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in terms of siting projects, insecurity and political appointments, among others, in the past three and a half years.
The communique also urged
the Southern Kaduna people, especially the elite, to participate actively in politics and stop being mere observers.
The communique stated: “The Southern Kaduna people, especially the elite, should stop being mere observers/critics/commentators, but should show interest and take active roles in politics by registering as members of any political party of their choice, especially at the grassroots level to actively participate in deciding candidates for elections.
“In a situation where grassroots politics is left to few hands that are susceptible to the manipulations of a few wealthy individuals, the hope of getting patriotic politicians into elected offices will continue to be dominated by unseen economic bulldogs who are determined to impose their cronies in the corridors of power.
“To this end, participants called for intensive mobilisation of the electorate in our various communities to ensure our people fully participate in the electoral process without let or hindrance.
“Politicians from Southern Kaduna were called upon to build structures and build bridges across the various zones of the state in order to set up a formidable political machinery capable of enhancing the prospects of the zone producing the governor of the state.
“Furthermore, elected public officers, including government’s appointees, should demonstrate greater interest in the affairs of the area by ensuring that they carry the interest of their communities along.
“The Summit called on the people of Southern Kaduna to develop capacities and skills in various fields of human endeavours in order to meet up with modern challenges of economic development.
“The future of our people cannot be realised without deploying effective capacities and skills that can move our people away from the backwaters of underdevelopment to realising our full potentials.”