That Kaduna has remained a hot bed of crisis is not a new development. The state has been enmeshed in one crisis or the other for more than fourty years. Kaduna has two major religions domiciled in the two parts that make up the state. The northern part of the state is a predominantly Muslim settlement while the southern Kaduna is made up of majorly Christians. This has seen to recurring clash between these two parts that has claimed thousands of life for years. The recent Kaduna crisis claimed over fifty lives before it was put under control.
The Governor of Kaduna state Mallam Nasir Elrufai has displayed much commitment to bring lasting peace and unity to the heavily fragmented state. To show he meant business, he recently conveyed a meeting where President Muhammadu Buhari was in attendance all in a bid to calm all frayed nerves with representative of the two major religions present and other stakeholders. However, it seems Governor Elrufai is far from promoting unity in that state and it’s like the Governor is about to stoke fresh violence in a state that is currently experiencing nascent peace.
The announcement of a new running mate for the Governor in preparation towards the 2019 Governorship election is a wrong step that must be corrected before it is too late. The Governor had on Friday, November 2, 2018 announced Dr. Hadiza Abubakar Balarabe, Executive Secretary of the Kaduna State Primary Health Care Development Agency, from Sanga Local Government Area of the state as his running mate. Dr. Hadiza might be a muslim but she is ethnically from the predominantly Christian South, and so it seems a Pyrrhic victory for the Christian South to expect that the doctor will put her ethnicity over her religion.
There is yet time for Governor El-Rufai to either pivot from this path or prove to Southern Kaduna that his new choice of running is motivated purely by the advancement of the state and not religious sentiment.