Nasir el-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, has urged pastors in the state to support his reelection bid in the 2019 general election.
At a meeting with pastors under the auspices of the Pastors United For Change Association (PUCA), held in Kaduna on Saturday, he called on the Christian community to look beyond religion and focus on his performance as governor.
el-Rufai is seeking reelection and has picked Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, a Muslim, as his running mate.
His appeal is coming barely one month after he declared that even if the Pope was his running mate, 67 per cent of Christians in Kaduna won't vote for him.
However, at the town hall meeting on Saturday, he said: “In my life, I have never worked with people based on religious and ethnic consideration. Don’t look at what people said, but what I have done in the past.
“Go through my records and see what I have done. On the issue of my running mate, we are encouraging women participation in politics. She is a competent woman. Only Kaduna State has male/female governorship ticket in northern Nigeria.
“Late Professor Andrew Nok, our late Commissioner for Education, brought Dr. Hadiza Balarabe when we were looking for someone that can revive our primary health in the state and she performed excellently well.
“I didn’t know her before. Her choice as a running mate has nothing to do with religion. I am confident that my running mate will run the state effectively, and will be fair to all in the state even if I am not around.
“When you get into office politics, you must be fair to all. Check our records in the last three years and six months, we have worked. We built, repaired primary, secondary schools. We fixed our primary health centres. I am human and I can make mistakes like any other person. I will be fair to everybody.
“We must unite our people for progress. I want Kaduna State to interact on the basis of humanity, not religion and ethnicity."
In his remarks, Apostle David Adeniran, the PUCA Chairman, said: “I believe many of us will go home with new thinking that something good is happening in Kaduna. This is a new Kaduna State."