Southern Kaduna. Southern Kaduna people have said that the area will support and vote only candidates that have the interest of its people and the wellbeing of the entire state at heart in the 2019 general elections.
Members of the Southern Kaduna Political Summit Group, drawn from various ethnic nationalities in the area, have also declared that the prospects of Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai’s re-election in 2019 will only be determined by his performance profile since assuming power in 2015.
The group in a communique signed by Barrister Mark Jacob and Simon Reef Musa, Convener and Secretary of the group respectively after a meeting in Kafanchan, Kaduna State, said participants at the meeting assessed the socio-political and economic realities of the area and the state in general.
On who to cast their votes for in the presidential and gubernatorial elections in 2019, the meeting agreed, “Only candidates that have the interest of our people and the overall wellbeing of the state in the next gubernatorial and presidential elections.”
The communique noted that on the issue of Muslim-Muslim ticket as adopted by Governor El Rufai and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna State, the Southern Kaduna Political Summit Group posited that it is the constitutional right of the governor to pick his running mate.
The meeting said, “The summit is therefore unperturbed by his choice of Dr Mrs Hadiza Balarabe, who hails from Sanga Local Government Area, as his running mate. The summit happily notes that if his choice for a Muslim to run on the ticket with him was done in bad faith with a view to creating religious dissension and infuse division of our people, he has failed.
“In view of the above, the meeting affirmed that Southern Kaduna people identify with Dr Balarabe as our sister and uphold her professional achievements with great pride. However we note that the Guber Election of 2019 in Kaduna State has nothing to do with her as a person, her origin or religion; rather the election will be based upon the record of performance of the flag bearer of her party in the past three and a half years and his disposition towards the Southern Kaduna people.
“Southern Kaduna electorates will scrutinise his achievements and style of governance in the past three and a half years and decide whether he deserves to be rewarded with another term in office.
“Participants at the meeting recalled the injustice and premeditated killings of Southern Kaduna natives by herdsmen, with attendant decimation of our communities by murderers that have left our people desolate and threaten the future of our people.”
The group lamented the total neglect of the zone by both the state and the Federal governments in terms of projects, security, political appointments, among others, in the past three and half years.
Members at the meeting also sought to find out why governorship ticket has turned out a mirage in the nation’s two dominant political parties for Southern Kaduna indigenes ahead of 2019 polls, among other important matters.
Condemning the state governor for deliberate refusal to embark on development projects in the area, the group called on Southern Kaduna people to stop being mere observers/critics/commentators, but should show interest and take active roles in politics by registering as members of any political party of their choice, especially at the grassroots level to actively participate in deciding candidates for elections.
“In a situation where grassroots politics is left to few hands that are susceptible to the manipulations of a few wealthy individuals, the hope of getting patriotic politicians into elected offices will continue to be dominated by unseen economic bulldogs who are determined to impose their cronies in the corridors of power,” the communique stressed.
To this end, participants called for intensive mobilisation of the electorate in the various communities to ensure that the people fully participate in the electoral process without let or hindrance.
The group also called on politicians from Southern Kaduna to build structures and build bridges across the various zones of the State in order to set up a formidable political machinery capable of enhancing the prospects of the zone in producing the governor of the State.
“Elected public officers, including government’s appointees, should demonstrate greater interest in the affairs of the area by ensuring that they carry the interest of their communities along,” participants observed.
The summit called on the people of Southern Kaduna to develop capacities and skills in various fields of human endeavours in order to meet up with modern challenges of economic development.
“The future of our people cannot be realised without deploying effective capacities and skills that can move our people away from the backwaters of underdevelopment to realising our full potentials,” the meeting insist.
The Meeting applauded the much-admired peace disposition of the Southern Kaduna People and called on them to broaden the frontiers of unity, including reaching out to other zones, in order to engender collaboration, unity and development.
Participants commended the selfless efforts of its elders, clerics and politicians in various communities who are working tirelessly for peace and development.