Kaduna State LG polls: Victory for democracy, boost for unity —El Rufai

Governor Nasir El Rufai has said that the results of the last local government elections have demonstrated that the APC government of Kaduna state stands for free and fair elections.

He also thanked the people of Kaduna state for giving the APC great victory at the polls.

While welcoming the election as a unifying moment, the governor described the results from Kaduna South Senatorial District as a significant step in advancing political consensus in the state and overcoming division.

In a state broadcast on Tuesday evening, Governor Nasir El-Rufai said that his administration has “placed the credibility and integrity of the electoral process above the discredited practice of previous governments that sought to win every contested seat by all means.’’

The governor commended “the people of Kaduna state for showing, for the second time, that there is no obstacle to the successful adoption of electronic voting technology in Nigeria.’’

El-Rufai recalled that “voters in Kaduna state first made history on 12th May 2018 when they cast their ballots on electronic voting machines to elect chairmen and councillors for the 23 local government councils in our state.’’

According to him, that election ‘’ has placed Kaduna State as the first in Nigeria to use electronic voting, the first subnational in Africa to do so and has also positioned Nigeria as only the second country in Africa after Namibia to use the technology. ‘’

“The local government elections of 4th September 2021 further validate the Kaduna State Government’s decision to invest in Electronic Voting Machines to promote electoral integrity and transparency.

“Kaduna state is proudly upholding a new chapter in elections in Nigeria, using electronic voting technology, championed by a government that is determined to respect the outcome, win or lose,’’ he posited.

El-Rufai pointed out that “as governor of Kaduna state, I have always taken the view that we all win when democracy triumphs.’’

He congratulated all the winners in the local government elections and challenged them to use their period in office to serve the people, uphold democratic tenets and promote peace in our state.

The governor expressed gratitude to the people of Kaduna state for the support they gave APC candidates during the local government elections.

“Our people again demonstrated with their votes that they recognise our efforts to empower them, to educate their children properly, to secure better healthcare for them and to return their priorities to the heart of government,’’ he pointed out.

El-Rufai further said that he is particularly pleased that his administration’s determined efforts to promote democracy are helping to further unite the state.

“We welcome the results in the Kaduna South Senatorial District as a significant step in advancing political consensus in our state and overcoming division.

“We are most grateful to the people of the Kaduna South Senatorial District whose votes have helped expand the APC’s footprint in the area.

“The voters have given the APC victory in four of the seven local government where elections were conducted in southern Kaduna,’’ he noted.

According to him, the APC has won in Jema’a and Kauru local government councils, “in addition to retaining Sanga and Kagarko which we won in 2018.

“The unprecedented victory in Jema’a augurs well for advancing unity and commitment to common endeavours in the interest of unity, peace and progress in our state. It is an embrace that we do not take for granted. We accept it as a moment for opening new vistas, extending bridges and saying farewell to needless divisions,’’ he said.

El-Rufai also said that ‘’this emphatic statement at the ballot box has shattered the unhelpful myth that any part of our state is an impregnable stronghold of any party.’’

“It has removed the baseless stereotyping of certain parties as ethnic bastions and religious vehicles. I call on all leaders and citizens in our state to cherish this moment and make it the beginning of an enduring rapprochement,’’ he counselled.