Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State on Friday reiterated his administration’s commitment to improve security and development in the state.
Mr El-Rufai stated this while receiving some “heavy weights PDP members” from Southern Kaduna who moved to the APC.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that among those who decamped to the ruling party were former Commissioners, former Federal and State legislators, former Local Government Council Chairmen and other PDP officials.
They were led by Tony Hassan, the Dokajen Jaba, who said they came to align with Mr El-Rufai and his deputy, Hadiza Balarabe, to move Kaduna State forward.
Speaking further Mr El-Rufai said: “we are committed with the support of our party to deliver on this, we are going to continue with infrastructure expansion in Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan because they are our three major metropolitan areas.
He said the purpose of the present government is to unite and develop the state.
“We have undertaken development project across the state without discrimination.
“We are also going to encourage the LGAs to do similar interventions in their headquarters and other major settlements.
“We have employed people that can help develop our state although we are not where we are supposed to be yet, because Kaduna state gave birth to all the 19 Northern states and the FCT, yet in many areas of infrastructure development, health and education we are behind some of the states we gave birth to.
“This is what keeps most of us awake day and night not only to catch up but to surpass those states and we need everyone.
“We have to put all hands on deck, it doesn’t matter where you are coming from and who you worship, we all believe in one God and ethnicity, what matters is what you can contribute to our state.”
He said the people of Kaduna state deserve the best and assured that the government would spend the next three and half years to give it to them.
“And we are going to spend the years with your support and prayers to improve security, unity of purpose and development of the state.
“We want to create a new set of future leaders for Kaduna state.
“We realise that we are old and not supposed to be here, we are the products of circumstances.
“Some of the chairman, members house of assembly and commissioners are the new set of leaders.
“We cannot achieve that until we unite and stop listening to ethnic and religious bigots who see everything through the lens of religion.
“Religion and ethnicity don’t build road, do not provide education or health care, it is people working together with the unity of purpose.”
Mr El-Rufai assured the defectors that his government is for all and not for followers of a particular religion or ethnic group: “it is government for all to serve the interest of all.
“Whether the people supported us or not, once the elections are over, we are the government of the entire state.
“We operate with the highest level of transparency and accountability, giving equal opportunity.
“What matters to us is credibility and competence and what you can contribute to the people of Kaduna state,” Mr El-Rufai added.
He thanked the former PDP members for joining the APC to contribute their efforts in uniting and moving the state forward.
Mrs Balarabe commended the defectors for their decision to join forces with the government to bring about positive changes in the state.
“It is gratifying to see people like you coming to seek collaboration. We are going to make Kaduna the envy of the people of Nigeria, “she said.
She assured the former PDP members of government willingness to partner with all to make the state great again.
She noted that there were lots of misconception among people of the Southern Kaduna zone where she comes from
“We have been short-changed for long, so it is time to work together to reap the dividends of democracy,” she said.
The State Chairman of APC, Emmanuel Jakada, said politics is a game and those who play well achieve its dividends.
“Nothing can be so beautiful as what has happened today. I am glad the people from my zone are now getting it right,” Mr Jakada said.
Earlier, Mr Hassan, who is also the leader of the defectors, reiterated their commitment in working with the present administration to achieve greatness.
“We have come to reaffirm our commitment to join hands for the sake of development of our state.
“We were PDP leaders from various capacities. We have moved to the APC to support the government, because the El-Rufai government is doing what it’s supposed to do for the people,” Mr Hassan said.