Nigerians have taken a swipe at the former governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai over his controversial statement about the role of religion in the victory of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 gubernatorial election in the state.
A viral video online captured the moment El-Rufai was speaking on how Muslim-Muslim ticket helped the APC retain power in Kaduna as well as influence President Bola Tinubu’s victory in the 2023 presidential election.
El-Rufai further said that the victory of Bola Tinubu had silenced the Christian Association of Nigeria, adding that he will sustain an Islamic-dominated government for 20 years and unending not only in Kaduna State but in Nigeria at large
Many Nigerians, who reacted in separate interviews with BusinessDay, condemned the comments by the former Kaduna State governor; noting that such comment was capable of further dividing the country along ethnic lines.
They said Muhammadu Buhari’s administration left the country more divided, stressing that they expect the new administration to make an effort to unite Nigerians.
Toba Olaoye, public affairs commentators condemned the comment by the former Kaduna Governor, saying that it was capable of further dividing the country along ethnic lines.
“Knowing the kind of personality he is and his antecedent, I am not too surprised, but it is a big slap to his personality.
“The Buhari administration left the country in a bad shape, polarising Nigeria.
“The country is more divided now than anytime else, you would expect such a person to join hands to move us away from where we are, but hear what he is saying,” Olaoye said.
Similarly, Samuel Kwamkur, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Plateau State, berated El-Rufai, noting that the comment was capable of setting the country on fire.
Kwankur, expressed disappointment at the utterances of El-Rufai, noting that the classification of the citizens of his state as them versus us meant that the former governor cannot be exonerated from the wanton killings, demolition of houses and places of worship of Christians in Kaduna.
He advised El-Rufai not to use his utterances to mislead Nigerians into thinking that President Bola Tinubu’s electoral victory was purposely to islamise Nigeria and nothing else.
According to him, “Ordinarily, I have heard Islamic clerics preach that Tinubu’s Muslim/Muslim ticket is in furtherance of an Islamisation agenda, and despite that, I am one of those who contributed in discouraging Christians and Nigerians from accepting such as true because I believed in the antecedents and character of His Excellency Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
“Hearing from a political leader like El-Rufai, a close associate of Tinubu and Shettima, an active participant in the campaign who was contemplated as one of the qualified persons to be appointed as the Chief of Staff to President or Secretary to the Government of the Federation confirmed that there is a hidden agenda to be mindful of.”
Similarly, several other Nigerians also criticised Mudashiru Obasa, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly for promoting ethnic tension in Lagos with his comment to promulgate law to promote the interest of indigenes of the state.
Speaking in his acceptance speech after his re-election as the leader of the House, Obasa had said that the lawmakers would go to any length in protecting the state indigenes even if it meant reversing existing law.
“Lagos is a Yoruba land as against the assertions of some people that it is a no man’s land,” Obasa said.
Reacting, Ubong Utip, an accountant, criticised Obasa, saying that if enacted, such law will further polarise and promote ethnic division in the country.
According to him, “The comment is condemnable; I think such a law if passed would only lead to ethnic tension in Nigeria.
“If you do that here in Lagos what about Yoruba people in other places, what would happen to them, even when they have land in other states too?”
Tope Bashiru said obnoxious law was not needed in Lagos if the state government was serious about making it a mega city.
“How can Obasa make such a comment in a state where they are looking for investment? What does he want to achieve by promulgating such law?”