Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State has alleged that intelligence reports have indicated that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is planning to disrupt the coming elections because of an imminent defeat that awaits it.
But in a swift reaction, spokesman of the PDP in the state, Abraham Catoh, said the governor was already scared of defeat because the majority of the people in the state are for PDP.
“We know that governor El-rufai is very scared of defeat, so whatever he is saying now against PDP, he is saying it because he is jittery. The people are for our party. The few campaigns tours by PDP have shown that we controlled more crowd and followers than the APC.”
However, El-rufai who spoke a stakeholders’ meeting at Kudan the hometown of the PDP governorship candidate, assured the people of Kaduna State that security agents were already on the alert to ensure peaceful elections.
Similarly, Hunkuyi which is the headquarters of Kudan local government, is the hometown of Senator Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi, El Rufai’s estranged political ally who is the senatorial candidate of PDP.
According to the governor, the reports did not suggest that the opposition party will foment trouble in Kaduna State, but the government is not taking chances.
“As a leader, it is my responsibility to tell you what is being planned because there are a lot of PDP bigwigs in Kudan local government and they may try to disturb the peace of this area,” El Rufai argued
The governor who said that any reasonable person would not want to cause trouble in his locality, however, said that PDP chieftains were not always reasonable.
Speaking further, Governor El Rufai advised the people of Kudan local government to shun any politician who approaches them with a plot to cause a crisis in the run-up to the polls or during elections.
“If any politician approaches any of you to cause violence, ask him to bring his child so that you will execute the plot together. Politicians are fond of using the children of the masses for nefarious activities while their children are either schooling somewhere, or are safe abroad,” he advised.
According to the governor, “no life is better than the other. The life of a rich man’s son is no more precious than the life of a poor man’s son. Also, the life of an educated person’s son is of equal value as the life of an illiterate’s son.”
El Rufai however, assured that government would provide adequate security on election day for people to vote candidates of their choice.
“Politics is about conviction. There is no compulsion in politics. Siblings can vote for different parties or candidates. It is our duty as a government to ensure security so that people can exercise their franchise,” he pointed out.
The governor also explained why he chose Dr Hadiza Balarabe as his running mate, arguing that his choice had nothing to do with religion or ethnicity but her competence.
El Rufai said that “ethno-religious considerations have always informed the choice of deputy governors since 1992 but it has not brought peace in Kaduna State.”
The governor said that it was time to discard the politics of religion and ethnicity and embrace a merit-based system that would bring progress and development in the country.
All the stakeholders who spoke at the meeting promised to vote all APC candidates in next month’s election.