A group, the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU has lambasted the Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai for reportedly claiming in an interview he granted a national television station last Thursday that “here in Kaduna we have a significant Muslim majority, 70%, and 30 % Christian minority”.
Reacting in a statement issued on Friday by its President, Mr. Solomon Musa, SOKAPU described the Governor’s claim as baseless and ridiculous, even as it wondered how he arrived at that conclusion when the 2006 population census excluded questions on religion and ethnicity.
The group also accused El-Rufai of playing politics with lives of the people of Southern Kaduna for claiming that there were no more Fulani herdsmen attack in the area, whereas the people had been attacked in recent time.
According to the statement, “We were both amazed and concerned at the religious ratio of 70 percent Muslims to 30 per cent Christians that he gave on national TV. This is because, based on the 2006 census, there was no question asking Nigerians their religious leaning.
“So it came as a shock that Governor El-Rufai could carelessly and recklessly give the ratio of the two major religions in the state without any empirical evidence. That to us is a most unfortunate statement from a governor who is expected to know the risk of stoking the flames of religious intolerance by deliberately misleadingly saying Muslims make up 70 per cent of the population of Kaduna state. Clearly the governor’s assertion is not buttressed by any known fact or data. Then, on what fact was he speaking?
“The Governor who was talking on the programme ‘Sunrise daily’ was trying hard to explain the effort his administration has made in curbing the incessant killings in Southern Kaduna. In the process, he also declared that no killing from suspected Fulani herdsmen had taken place in the zone in the last six months.
“Gradually SOKAPU is getting a peep into the mindset of the Governor through such utterances and we are now realizing that some of the policies and actions of the governor since assuming power have been tainted by his dangerous belief that Muslims hold the majority in the state.
“The skewed appointments that we have seen in Kaduna so far are the worst that we have seen for a long time. For the first time, the Governor, the Minister, the SSG, the Chief of Staff, the Principal Private Secretary, the Speaker of the House of Assembly and so many key aides of the governor are from his own stock. This to us is deliberate and a true manifestation of his belief that fairness and equity shouldn’t be reflected in his administration.
“We also want to tell the governor that he goofed when he said that no killing took place in southern Kaduna in the last six months. On March 24, 2016 Mr. Daniel was shot dead in his house around 7pm in Antor, Aboro District of Numana Chiefdom.
“Same March, a man was butchered in Ancha Gida, Ancha district of Ninzo chiefdom in his farm by suspected Fulani gunmen. Another man was killed last December on his farm by suspected fulani herdsmen at Yaute, Wasa district of Numana chiefdom.”