Popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has frowned at the Muslim/Muslim gubernatorial ticket by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna, saying the time was not ripe for such a move.
The respected cleric made this known in his first official reaction to the decision of Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, a Muslim, to choose Hadiza Balarabe, another Muslim, as his running mate ahead of the 2019 polls.
El-Rufai, while defending his choice on Tuesday, said, “From the beginning, I had told my team that I will never choose or deny anyone appointment because of religion or ethnicity.
“But some people have started all manner of things, ‘Muslim-Muslim ticket’ and so on. But government house is not a place of worship, we come here to work for the people.
“The people that have criticised me most on this are people who never voted me in the first place. So, are they not supposed to be celebrating if in their own opinion I have made a wrong choice? Then, why are they mourning?”
But Gumi, who spoke to Premium Times on the matter, said El-Rufai’s move was politically-motivated.
According to him, “The question on whether it’s politically motivated or not, I don’t think there is any individual who thinks otherwise.
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“Everybody knows that it’s politically motivated. Everybody knows that. What I’m saying and I specifically said is that you look at the time, the situation, the culture, the environment before you make such a move.
“What I feel is that it’s not yet the time. It is not right, especially coming a week after some people who lost lives innocently. Somebody is killed on the road, why? Because of his identity.
“So, immediately after such a crisis, we don’t need another thing that will create animosity between people that are destined to live together – and I specifically said indigenous people.
“If we have indigenous people, we should do everything possible to assimilate them, integrate them, not to castigate them and put them out.
“They brought the argument that this thing is happening in Plateau and other states and I said yes, this is one reason why we should show them that we don’t take our behaviours and civilisation from barbarism. We have a standard.
“Not only in Kaduna. We are now looking for the right of Muslim minorities in Plateau, in Benue, in Nasarawa too, they should be fully integrated into the politics. If it requires to be a deputy governor, they should have to.
“So we should advocate for Muslims where they are minorities to have representation, depending on their population in government and not to deny people who are destined to live together and show them they are outcast.”