From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Kaduna Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, alleged, yesterday, that intelligence reports indicated that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is planning to disrupt the coming election in the state.
In a swift reaction, PDP spokesman in the state, Abraham Catoh, said the governor is already scared of defeat because majority of the people in the state are rooting 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 out of jitters. The people are for our party. The few campaign tours by PDP have shown that we control more crowd and followers than the All Progressives Congress (APC).”
Regardless, El-Rufai, who spoke at a stakeholders’ meeting at Kudan town, hometown of the PDP governorship candidate, Isah Ashiru, assured the people of the state that security agents are already on the alert; to ensure peaceful elections.
Similarly, Hunkuyi, which is the headquarters of Kudan Local Government Area, is the hometown of Senator Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi, the governor’s estranged political ally, who is the senatorial candidate of the PDP.
According to the governor, the reports did not suggest that the opposition party would foment trouble in Kaduna, but, the state government is not taking chances.
He said: ”As a leader, it is my responsibility to tell you what is being planned because there are lots of PDP bigwigs in Kudan local government and, they may try to disturb the peace of this area.”
The governor, who said any reasonable person would not want to cause trouble in his locality, however, added that PDP chieftains are 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 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.
“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,” he added.
The governor, 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 of the same family can vote for different parties or candidates. It is our duty, as a government, to ensure security so that people can exercise their franchise,” said El-Rufai.
The governor also explained why he chose Dr. Hadiza Balarabe as his running mate, when he noted that his choice had nothing to do with religion or ethnicity but her competence.
He also said “ethno-religious considerations have always informed the choice of deputy governors, since 1992, but, it has not brought peace in Kaduna state.”
The governor added that it is time to discard politics of religion and ethnicity and embrace a merit-based system that will bring progress and development in the country.
All stakeholders who spoke at the meeting promised to vote all APC candidates in all elections next month and in March.