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Muslim-Muslim Ticket: Sharia Council Supports El-Rufai, Criticizes CAN

The Supreme Council for Shariah in Nigeria has come to the defense of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the former governor of Kaduna State. They addressed his recent viral video, where he justified his preference for Muslims in appointments during his tenure. In the video, El-Rufai explained to Islamic clerics, in the Hausa language, his decision to select Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe as his deputy in 2019. El-Rufai stated that he considered the fact that a majority of non-Muslims did not vote for his party, the All Progressives Congress, and therefore questioned the need to appoint a non-Muslim as deputy governor.

He said, “I did my calculation and I knew we could win the election without giving them (position of deputy governor). That’s first. That’s a purely political issue. It’s politics. You want to win an election, you’re looking for people that will vote for you. We have observed that since we started practising democracy, we know places we used to win elections and those places we don’t. We’ve done that calculation politically. That’s the political point of it.”

During an interview on Arise TV, Rev. John Hayab, the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Kaduna State, strongly criticized El-Rufai for his remark.

In response, the Sharia Council released a statement on Sunday, through its Secretary AbdurRahman Hassan, defending El-Rufai and labeling CAN’s position as hypocritical.

The council said, “For the past one week, the Christian Association of Nigeria, Kaduna State Chapter has been wagging tongues, accusing the former governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasiru Ahmad El-Rufai, of making some inciting statements as far as CAN is concerned, simply because he aired his view on the political realities of Muslim-Muslim ticket.

“During the campaigns for the just concluded elections in this country, where was CAN when majority of pastors were making unguarded utterances, which if not for the help of Allah (SWT), Nigeria would have been history.

“Where was CAN when a pastor stood on the pulpit with an AK-47 in Abuja? Where was CAN when some Christian clergies were making prophecies of doom for this country? But Alhamdu Lillah, all the hullabaloo and all the fake and false prophecies, nothing negative happened to our dear country, Nigeria.

“The Muslim Ummah have been tolerant enough, if not, there is no way a Muslim-dominated state like Taraba will be governed by a Christian. If Plateau State, with a population of over 35 per cent Muslims, were denied the deputy governor slot, why should Kaduna State, with Muslim population of close to 75 per cent, not have Muslim-Muslim ticket?

“Good men of God always preach peace, not violence and inciting tendencies which, in turn, will be a threat to peace and development. We enjoin CAN to toe the line of honour in neutrality, rather than playing double-standards.”

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