Noah Ebije, Kaduna.
Christians in Kaduna State under the umbrella of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) have passed vote of no confidence on Governor Nasir el-Rufai for picking a fellow Muslim as his running mate for the 2019 election.
The Christian body had asked all their members not to vote for el-Rufai on the election day, saying the governor no longer deserve their votes.
el-Rufai had a fortnight ago announced his running mate in the person of Hadiza Balarabe, a Muslim woman from Sanga Local Government Area of the state.
Sanga is in the southern part of Kaduna, a border town with Plateau State.
The governor had also, two weeks ago, cleared the air on why he picked a fellow Muslim, saying that he believed in competence irrespective of religion and tribe, adding, “Government House is not a worship centre”.
However, addressing journalists, on Wednesday, the PFN chairman in Kaduna State, Apostle Emmanuel Egoh Bako, noted that while the governor has the right to choose who becomes his deputy, the choice of a fellow Muslim negated tenets of equity, fairness and justice.
Apostle Bako said this was because a state like Kaduna is prone to ethnic and religious crises where the governor needed to take decision with maturity and care for peaceful coexistence.
“Choosing a female from Southern Kaduna who is a Muslim, after a crisis that snowballed into religious crisis, is the height of insecurity.
“If it is about competence, is she the only competent person from a predominantly Christian area?
“The governor portrays the image of a man desirous of peace but each time he speaks or takes decisions, they are fraught with divisive and combative grandstanding.
“These his religious postures and decisive approach to governance are a cause of serious concern.
“It certainly speaks volume of the governor’s demeaning mindset towards Christians in Kaduna State.
“To buttress this, consider the governor’s appointment of commissioners which has 14 Muslims to three Christians.
“Similarly, appointments into parastatals at state and those that represent the state at the federal level are skewed against Christians.
“And to rub it in, Mallam el-Rufai said that President Muhammadu Buhari backs his deliberate shortcoming of Christians in the state with the Muslim/Muslim ticket, meaning that the governor and the President are working hand in gloves.
“With these obviously divisive, parochial and bigoted policies, the governor has decidedly notified Christians that he does not want their votes. We and our members have fully accepted the message,” Bako said.