Kaduna State Governor Nasir el- Rufai on Tuesday said he settled for Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, a fellow Muslim, as his running mate in the 2019 governorship election in the state because she is the right person for the job .
The governor , who received in audience the people of Sanga Local Government Area at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House , Kaduna , who came to thank him for picking their daughter as his running mate, said he based his choice on competence and performance.
“Muslim- Muslim ticket is not a religious ticket but a competence and performance ticket , ” the governor said.
Balarabe’ s choice as el- Rufai ’ s running mate had generated criticism in the state .
But el- Rufai , while responding to critics , said before he picked Balarabe , he consulted President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said, “ About a year ago , the Deputy Governor , Barnabas Bala, told me that he was going to contest the senatorial election , I was in a dilemma to get a replacement for him .
“So , we started with a list of people for consideration, and I had up to 32 names , including the names of some people seated with me here today .
“Then , we started selection and dropping names based on merit . From 32 names to 17 to 12 and then five , three males and two females .
“At that point , and as usual of us , when we are taking serious decisions, we consult President Muhammadu Buhari, because he is the only person I know that has worked in the army , he has been Governor , Minister and President .
“ So , when I told him , he said anyone older than me should be dropped. Then one name was dropped, remaining two men and two women, then he said ‘ since you are interested in a woman, pick the best woman’ . That was how I picked Hadiza , because she was the best .”
The governor added that most of his Muslim- Muslim critics were those who did not vote for him in 2015 .
He said , “The people that have criticised me most on this are people who never voted me in the first place . So , are they not supposed to be celebrating it . In their own opinion , I have made a wrong choice ? Then , why are they mourning?”
The Paramount ruler of Numana in Sanga LGA, Brigadier-General Aliyu Yamma , said the choice of Balarabe had given them hope of being in government.
He said.” The governor couldn ’ t have made a better choice than the selection of Hadiza . We now feel a sense of belonging in Kaduna government. We are just like black Americans in Kaduna State .”