Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has decried the manipulation of religion and ethnicity for political interests, saying that it is holding back the progress of Nigeria. Malam El-Rufai also explained that the choice of Dr Hadiza Balarabe as his running mate was influenced by considerations of competence, developing the state and pulling the talents of the women.
El-Rufai who featured in a Hausa vernacular programme of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Kaduna on Saturday, said that people in their business, travels and daily lives look for who can give them results, not the faith of that person.
“If you are sick and in dire need of life, when you are rushed to hospital, what do you need? Life or religion of the doctor? Life is what you need and you will not waste time on the religion and ethnicity of the doctor. When you are flying, do you care about the religion or ethnicity of the pilot or a safe flight?
“It’s the same thing with business and investment. You hire those who can make your investment profitable. But when it comes to public service, some people will not be concerned about real development but will start talking of religion and ethnicity. This is a serious problem and is part of the reasons for Nigeria’s retrogression.
“Our action was not predicated on religion or ethnicity but getting a Deputy Governor, that suits our quest for a better Kaduna State.”
Malam El-Rufai disclosed that some elite who assume they owned the state and must dictate how it is run are unhappy that he has focused on the needs of the ordinary citizens. He said that he is determined that the “resources of Kaduna State must be used for the health care, security, education and economic development of ordinary citizens who have lost access to basic infrastructure for decades.
“The barrier to progress erected by the elite and a few individuals must be broken. And we will not be intimidated or distracted from putting the ordinary citizen first by mundane and divisive politics.
“Our trust is in God. This gives us the confidence that the ordinary citizens of Kaduna State see and appreciate what we are doing, and will support us to victory.”