The Chairman of Kaduna State Christian Association of Nigeria, Reverend Joseph Hayab, on Wednesday, urged Nigerians to ignore the state’s immediate past governor, Nasir El-Rufai, over the latter’s alleged Islamization claims.
He also claimed that the ex-governor’s recent statement on the Muslim/Muslim ticket and that the victory of President Bola Tinubu silenced his critics and CAN was a ploy and divisive tendency aimed to further his (El-Rufai’s) alleged presidential ambition.
The CAN chairman was reacting to a trending video on social media where El-Rufai was alleged to have said that the Muslim-Muslim ticket in the Kaduna governorship election would be sustained beyond 20 years in the state.
In the video, the former governor, who spoke in Hausa, also claimed that Muslim domination was being replicated at the national level.
But reacting to El-Rufai’s alleged comment while featuring on Arise TV’s Morning Show on Wednesday, Hayab said Nigerians should not be bothered about El-Rufai’s comment as he was just seeking relevance and playing to the gallery to rile up unsuspecting Nigerians.
According to him, El-Rufai is living in that dream that he could play these religious games, and possibly tomorrow he can become the president of Nigeria.
He said, “You know, since he (El-Rufai) is up to something, he is playing a game and what he would do is to confuse people and set up Christians against Muslims; set up Christians against the present government, and then he would stand to benefit from it tomorrow. Unfortunately, I will say to him, he has failed from the onset.
“With this, he has actually proved to Nigerians that he is not in the first place fit to be a leader and I think that is one of the problems in Nigeria. We give people power without testing their emotional stability whether they are mentally alright to lead.”
When asked to give an official response to El-Rufai’s statement, Hayab said, “Our simple response is that ignores the madman. Ignore the man who is calling for attention and ignore the man who is up to a gimmick and ignore the man who is up to an agenda, don’t even take him seriously.
“If his Muslim/Muslim ticket has actually succeeded, we wouldn’t have had the killings, the division, and the problems we have in Kaduna. So, there was not even success to record this in his administration.
“El-Rufai is just trying to play games and we don’t even want to glorify his game, we simply see him as someone whose era, influence, and power are over but he wants to still be relevant and he wants to bring up something that will give him relevance because he knows that there are so many ignorant people around who may think that he is defending faith but I can tell you so many Imams will remind him how he demolished their mosque; how he maltreated them and never respected them as people of faith, so he is just playing politics and trying to take advantage of the situation.
“Buhari, in all his three initial attempts to be president, played all these games and it never worked for him. But because he (Buhari) had played that game before, then he went into alliance with other political party and he eventually became the president.
“But Buhari, who he (El-Rufai) is trying to mimic has three things El-Rufai does not have. Buhari was at that time seen, to be honest; Buhari was not talkative nor talk carelessly like you (El-Rufai), and Buhari was seen by people to some extent as someone who they can deal with. But you (El-Rufai), 90 per cent of the people know that everything you (El-Rufai) say is a lie and only for your own gain. So, we know that Kaduna Muslims know that El-Rufai is not speaking for them and we know Muslims won’t think along El-Rufai’s way.
“Someone (El-Rufai) who has eaten and become fat from our commonwealth should not because of his selfishness divide us and create unnecessary confusion, Nigeria must not take such a person seriously because if truth be told, he (El-Rufai) needs some checks at the psychiatric (hospital) so that we will be sure whether he is healthy.”
The Kaduna CAN chairman added that with El-Rufai’s alleged agenda, he was setting a trap for President Tinubu.
“El-Rufai is deliberately also setting a trap and setting a slippery ground for Bola Tinubu because the moment these things became heated, then people will go to Bola Tinubu but we know the difference between El-Rufai and Bola Tinubu and others,” Hayab said.
Efforts to reach the former governor’s Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, for his reaction proved abortive as calls to his telephone line did not connect.
Also, a text message sent to him was yet to be responded to as of the time of filing this report.