GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION ON 9 MARCH, 2019: OUR POSITION
As the Gubernatorial election in Kaduna State comes up on 9 March, 2019 the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) wishes to observe as follows
That this election affords the entire citizens of Kaduna the opportunity to exercise their democratic and constitutional franchise to vote and to confer on one person out of several political gladiators the mandate to be the Governor of Kaduna State for the next four years.
The coming election is not a religious referendum; it is also not a war with combatants fighting on different sides of hostile divides. Previous elections in Kaduna State have shown Southern Kaduna people voting for our brothers in the North and as well Northern brothers voting for their Southern brothers. Christians voted overwhelmingly for Governors like Alh. Balarabe Musa, Alh. Dabo Lere, Alh. Arc. Namadi Sambo, Mal Nasiru Ahmed Elrufai who are all Muslims. Our Muslim brothers in like manner voted in overwhelmingly late Sir Patrick Yakowa, a Christian as Governor. Kaduna State voted in Hausas, Fulanis, Kagoma as Governors in previous elections. The prime consideration was simply competence, performance and humaneness. Nothing more, nothing less. Primordial sentiments and bigotry were not major factors. As we go to the polls on Saturday, competence, performance, track record of service and humaneness should supercede ethnic, religious and geographical considerations.
We have noted, sadly, that certain politicians unfortunately have chosen to take the cheap highway of divisive politics. Such individuals want to divide Kaduna particularly along religious lines. Fortunately, for this particular election, the major contenders are Muslims of the same ethnic background and both are from Zone I of this State. Southern Kaduna has and will never vote along religious lines. This election is not an exception. In Southern Kaduna we boast of a population consisting Christians, Muslims and traditionalists.
We condemn without equivocation campaigns based on religious or tribal division. We condemn toxic messages circulating on social and even conventional media based on religion, hatred and bigotry. Southern Kaduna people do not and will never hate Muslims but we regard Muslims, Hausas, Fulanis and all citizens of Kaduna State as brothers and partners in the development of our dear State.
We call on all citizens of Kaduna State to reject persons whose only message and campaign is based on religion and hatred and to embrace the candidate that will bring peace, unity and harmony in Kaduna State. Kaduna State is in need of a unifier.
We call on all voters in Kaduna State to elect as Governor the candidate that will:
– Respect the citizens of our dear state
– Respect our religions
– Respect our religious leaders
– Respect our places of worship
– Respect our diversity
– Respect our cultures
– Respect our traditional rulers and institutions
– Respect the sanctity of human lives
– Respect labour, our workforce, create jobs and not sack workers
– Respect and protect citizens from attacks. Develop, build and protect our buildings and infrastructure rather than destroying and demolishing them.
We call on all people of Southern Kaduna and, in deed, citizens of Kaduna State to ensure that no one provokes them to see brothers from other Zones as enemies. We must conduct ourselves in a responsible and peaceful manner before, during and after the election.
We call on security agencies to take all necessary non-partisan steps to ensure the security of lives, property as well as the sanctity of the electoral process in Kaduna State.
Yakubu Y. Kuzamani,