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Rev. Para-Mallam fires El-Rufai over picking Muslim run-mate

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More reactions have continued to trail the choice of a Muslim running mate by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, as the regional secretary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES), Rev. Gideon Para-Mallam has said that with the choice of Dr. Hadiza, the Governor has displayed political and religious insensitivity of enormous proportions.

Para-Mallam, who is the founder of the Citizens Monitoring Group, which works with Muslims and Christians in Nigeria, in an exclusive interview held in Jos, said, “Governor Nasir El-Rufai has embarked on a wild political ride or shall we say flight?

He explained that, “Kaduna State is one of the most ethnically diverse States in Nigeria. Kaduna State is also multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and most important of all, a multi-religious State. This is our reality in Kaduna State.

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“Beyond the natives of Kaduna State, the State is also a miniature or micro-Nigeria.

“By his choice of a Muslim-Muslim ticket at the governorship level, he has displayed political and religious insensitivity of enormous proportions which now borders on political ignorance or naïvety-or both.

“I know Governorship candidates have a right to choose their running mates and this is okay. What should be of interest to some of us is this; did Governor El-Rufai involve the people from Southern Kaduna by way of receiving nominations or feedback from them before settling in on this Muslim-Muslim ticket?

“Also, did the people of Sanga Local Government Area make any input? Did they nominate names?

“If yes, what are these names and who did they finally recommend? Was this woman, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe one of the names they submitted?

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“El-Rufai claims to be a cosmopolitan politician but his politics sadly lacks the civility expected of his self-acclaimed credentials”, he maintained.

“He claims that he does not support injecting religion into politics, but by his actions, he is inadvertently promoting religious politics.

“Let this be clear, Christians are not opposed to Muslim women and to Muslims. However, a Muslim – Muslim ticket, is a needless provocation and particularly at this point in time.

According to him, “Our Governor has in a way made what seems more like injecting the politics of divide and rule.

“I wish to appeal to Christian and Muslim voters not to oblige him this. We should maintain our cordial relationship with one another in Kaduna State.

“Going forward, we need to keep focusing on peacebuilding. We must resolve not to encourage any misadventure by politicians who seek to exploit our differences.

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“I am afraid, what Governor El-Rufai has done is the sort of step that will not promote peaceful co-existence in the State and Nigeria”, he warned.

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