The Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Saturday, said his administration has nothing against Christians in the state.
He said that his decision to pick a Muslim running mate was not based on religion and ethnicity, as speculated.
Mr El-Rufai made the comment at a Town Hall Meeting With a group of pastors under the auspices of ‘Pastors United For Change Association’ held in the state.
The governor’s choice of Hadiza Balarabe, from Sanga local government area of Southern Kaduna as his running mate, generated uproar, particularly among Christians across the state.
Mr El-Rufai repeatedly said his choice was not influenced by her religion but purely on her capacity to deliver.
According to him, he has been working with people around him based on competency to get results not minding their tribe or religion.
He urged the residents to unite for the progress of the state while urging the pastors to check his records of selfless service to the people.
He also maintained that his target is to end the religious, ethnic division and unite the people of the state.
“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,” he said.
The governor also added that Kaduna State is the only state with male/female governorship ticket in northern Nigeria.
“Late Prof. Andrew Nok, our late commissioner for education, brought Hadiza Balarabe when we were looking for someone that can revive our primary health in the state and she performed excellently well.
“I don’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,” he said.
The governor also said as a governor, he must be fair to all as he went ahead to list all his achievements in the last three years of his administration.
“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.
“There are some shifts in some local government areas in Southern Kaduna, which favoured us, (with) which we will win this election, ” Mr El-Rufai said.
Earlier, the chairman of Pastors United for Change Association, David Adeniran, said with the governor’s explanation on issues, they understood that the governor wants a united Kaduna without religious, ethnic consideration.
“Our sincere clergymen and women, thank you for honouring the invitation. I believe many of you will go home with new thinking that something good is happening in Kaduna. This is a new Kaduna State. We here to interact on the next level in Kaduna State. Kaduna State will be better for all of us,” he said.