The Christians Association Nigeria, (CAN) chairman in Kaduna state, John Joseph Hayab, says the immediate past governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir el Rufai, was speaking for himself and not the generality of Kaduna and Nigerian Muslims, in a recent viral video that has angered many.
Many have accused the former governor of fanning the embers of religious bigotry, noting that he was clever by half in his analysis of the Kaduna election knowing his All Progressives Congress (APC) lost to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Others insist the presidential election was rigged, though litigations over this are ongoing.
On Arise TV on Wednesday, Hayab said: “This video in the first place is real, because that is el Rufai for you. If you have known el Rufai for 20 years and you watch this video now, you will know this is the el Rufai, because el Rufai has not changed.
“Let me put it clear, for even thinking that the victory of Asiwaju was a Muslim thing shows that the man is actually living in inferiority complex, feeling people look down on me, people feel I’m not fit to be. So, he says things and act to show his might…”
On Tinubu’s victory,, he said: “Everybody knew that the victory of Asiwaju, whatever others are contesting in the court is not our concern. It was a collective voting by Christians in the first place.
“Benue state is over 90 per cent Christains, Asiwaju won there, so will you say there were no Christain vote. Rivers state, will you say there were no Christian vote and you can go on and on to look at other states….
“Ignore the man, who is calling for attention. Ignore the man, who is up to a gimmick. Don’t even take him serious.
“I know Uba Sani will find a way of uniting the state and taking it to higher ground, so el Rufai is just trying to play games and we don’t even want to glorify his game.
“el Rufai is not speaking for faith. We will not fight Muslims, we will not accuse Muslims, because we know el Rufai is not speaking for them and we know Muslims will not think that way. We want a united Nigeria. We want a Nigeria that whoever we have given mandate to lead will lead us as a people.”
In his now infamous comments, el Rufai told a meeting of Islamic clerics, including a Professor Akintola in Hausa language Nasir el Rufai: “First of all, I took time to examine and saw that majority of non-Muslims do not vote our party, majority of them. For that reason, I concluded why should I give them the position of deputy, I calculated that we can win elections even without offering the position of deputy to them. This is politics and in politics you want to win elections. You are seeking people to vote for you. We look again and again since inception of democracy, the areas we often have many votes and areas we don’t have significant winning votes. This we have studied politically.
“Secondly what we wanted to show and to Allah’s glory in the last four years we have shown is this, the government where the governor is Muslim, the deputy is Muslim, the SSG is Muslim, Chief of Staff is Muslim, Commissioner of Finance is a Muslim will not cheat Christians in Kaduna state. And everywhere we go to, we do tell them of a truth that it is like that, a Muslim government will not cheat Christians. Every top person in our government is Muslim, but is there one single Christian that can say he was cheated? Is there any district that we have not repaired their schools, build hospital, repaired roads, did not help their farmers? Either they voted us or not. We gave everyone their dues. Kubau voted us more, so I will go there and give them more because they voted us, what I will give Jaba I will take and add to Kubau because Jaba did not vote us, yet we still gave Jaba their dues.
“You, our clergy taught us that Islamic government is a righteous government. The prophet and his Saabai lived with those who are not Muslim, with Jews, Christians, and even those who are infidels yet they called the prophet “amin” because he was just with them, Saidu na Abubakar, Usman, Uthman, Ali etc all were just to non-Muslims. None will say because he was not a Muslim his right was infringed upon. It is said “to the person that like you, you should add to him”. But don’t take away somebody’s else entitlement.
“When we went out campaigning this time, and they asked or say so and so, I will answer them, oh yes it is true, we seek for people that will work, we don’t consider religion, but of course, religion is a factor but I will not say so. But what I am asking is whose right has been infringed on, stand up and say so, if this government has cheated you? No one responds in the affirmative, except such will say formerly I was a vagabond, who goes around killing people and this government stopped you, or such a fellow is used to blocking roads and we tell if you do so again this is the repercussion and you know we are capable of doing so.
“This is what we did these past four years, I and my co-workers. This is what we have replicated since Senator Uba Sani and Dr Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe have again won their elections, with all the religious gang-up against us, and you, the clergy and clerics that are here are the ones that did the politicking not the politicians, the politicians actually cheated us, and he Senator Uba Sani knows this and we know those who collected money and on election day they put off their hand-sets and slept at home. They did not come out to vote, they did not come out for election. And we know the Aid group who took it upon themselves to be polling unit agents, those we gave money to be Polling Unit agents did not come only these Aid group, we know this and only God will repay them with grace. And the way you persevere and supported us, I am begging you to also persevere and give Senator Uba Sani support, so that when he finishes his first four years, he may continue with another four years, by this we shall show people that Islamic governance is not partial and it does not like depriving any of his entitlement, it does not like inhumanity, that is all we want to showcase. And we have started but we are not done yet, if we take twenty years doing this, then every body will understand. So when Senator Uba Sani finishes, that makes it 16 years, then we shall bring forth another this will take us to 24 years at this every one will say we now know our stand and we know this Muslims will not cheat us and this will bring lasting peace. This is what we began to lay down ever since we came out seeking elective position and with Allah’s help, and with your prayers and perseverance we are on track. God bless you with grace.
“A lot has been said about the federal government, what professor Akintola said is true, we are the ones who advised, we the APC governors of the north, that the president should come from the south, to fulfill our promise. The promise was an oral one, and a promise, even a spoken one, or a written one is known to God. When we discovered conspiracy for the president to come from the north, we did not agree, because this is not our nature. We are Muslims, we are northerners and we have our cultures and we can not promise, and even if it is in the dark, and turn and say there is no promise. We said we did not agree with any such conspiracy, this is our first step in this struggle. Our second struggle began when they had to accept our position, because they could not help the position we took, we are the ones who stood and say who did we see that we can elect? One who is a strong contestant and can win election? Secondly choosing him will begin the healing of religious politics in this country. We advised our selves that that person is Asiwaju, at the time we accepted to stand with Asiwaju, I personally was not in good terms with him, we were fighting. But Prof. Akintola came with some of their leaders from Lagos and said this is their thinking, they are happy with our stand for a southern presidency, and wish to propose Asiwaju for that position. The Yoruba from the south–west have long standing issues, if any of their Muslims comes out to vie for any position they will say he has no right to vie for any leadership position because he will not win, such will not win because only a Christian from the south-west and a Muslim from the north as vice president will win election. That since Abiola time, there has not been any southern Muslim presidential candidate. So we said they should go and bring someone they will want us to support, then they mentioned Asiwaju and I told them, no, because I am not on friendly terms with him. Prof. Akintola said to me, be on friendly terms with him in the interest of Islam, at this I said, it is okay we shall settle. That is how Asiwaju got the ticket. And we know that if he clinches the party’s ticket automatically he will have no choice than to pick a Muslim from the north, if he does not then he will not win, there is no any other way for his winning. Politics is calculation, one must calculate only. God saw our hearts and honestly speaking those of us involved in this arrangement were not selfish in this arrangement, I for one did not do this for any personal gain, also the governor of Zamfara, Bello Matawalle, did not do this for any selfish motive, I can vouch for him. I am not sure of the others but for the two of us honestly speaking we did not do it for any selfish reason. The only thing before us was the healing of religious politics. And to also give the south-west a sense of belonging, let them also govern.
“Despite all the ethnic gathering and despite the use of religion, Allah gave Asiwaju victory. What we did in Kaduna, it is now done in the whole country. There is no liar that will come up and play politics of Christianity anymore and win elections, Peter Obi did and here is where it landed him. We have tackle this religious politics, and since Asiwaju’s victory CAN has been quiet. This is how we can get peace in this country. If we also redo this again and again then what will happened in the federation? That is all we did, I with some within us are feeling we have finished our mission. Asiwaju has won the election we have finished our work.
“What we are begging of you, our clergy, is to pray for him to get good people to work with. All the talk going on for me to hold this or that position, for me, my prayers is one, that that God choose right men for any given job. Help us with this prayer, I don’t want any position, what I want is to go back, rest, and finish my studies and the way Sani Uba does his bugga bugga and get money, I too will get my own. Or is that not so? However may God choose for us, if Asiwaju seeks me to work with him and I see that the work will help him and help the country, I will not refuse but I will not go seeking work. When I finished my NYSC I look for job just once in my life, and I have never looked for work but work keeps looking for me. May God choose what is right for us, thank you for this feast organised for me.”