The former Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has said that he and some northern governors used religion as a political tool to give victory to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in the 2023 presidential election.
According to the former governor, the decision to use religion as a political strategy was to help tackle the issue of tribalism and religion in politics in the country.
The former governor stated this in a viral video. He was speaking to an audience in the Hausa language in Kaduna at an event before handing over to his successor.
He said, “Allah sees our heart, me and Zamfara State Governor, Mutawalle did it because of God and we didn’t do it because of anything. We only do it in order to have solutions to the current religious problem we are having in Nigeria and for us to give South West Muslims a sense of belonging to rule. And it is because of religion that we used that gave Asiwaju victory.”
He also noted that the Muslim/Muslim ticket that he used to achieve political success in Kaduna has now been replicated in Nigeria with the emergence of Bola Tinubu as president and Kashim Shetima as vice president.
He said, “What we are able to achieve in Kaduna state now has been achieved in Nigeria as a whole. There is no liar that will come and say he will do politics as a Christian and win an election. Even Peter Obi didn’t win.”
He stated that he alongside other northern governors successfully pushed for the emergence of a Yoruba Muslim from the South West as president despite opposition from some quarters
El Rufai speaking in Hausa said in part, “Concerning the Presidential government, what Professor Akintola said is true. We the Northern governors agreed that the presidential position should go back to the West. It was a verbal promise but a promise whether written or spoken, God knows.
“When we saw some people plotting for presidential position to remain in the North, we disagreed, we are not like that. We said we are Muslims and we have our traditions and we cannot go back on our words. That was the first step. The second step is after we all agreed or they realised that they cannot do anything, we will tackle the issue of tribalism and religion in politics in this country. We agreed that we will support BAT.
“When we had that agreement I was not on good terms with him, (Tinubu), we were fighting. But Professor Akintola and their leaders came from Lagos and said this is their thought If power is given to the West since we all agreed that it should be given to them the Yoruba people from the South-West have a problem, their Muslims cannot contest, and win an election. A Christian will have to contest and have a Muslim from the North as a vice. They said since from Abiola it had never happened. They said they wanted that and I asked them to bring the person we will support and BAT got the ticket. We knew he will have to take a Muslim as his vice.”
He added, “What we are able to achieve in Kaduna state now has been achieved in Nigeria as a whole. There’s no liar that will come and say he will do politics as a Christian and win the election. Even Peter Obi didn’t win.”