JUST IN: Why Nigeria must jettison ethnic, religious considerations in public affairs – El-Rufai

The immediate former governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El Rufai, has said for the country to return to the path of greatness, it needs to eschew ethnic or religious considerations in public affairs.

This, according to him is because the intrusion of religion and regionalism into public affairs in Nigeria is not conducive for unity and progress….CONTINUE READING

Mr El Rufai made the statement while delivering a keynote address during a book launch and retirement event in honour of Ishaq Akintola, Founder of Muslim Rights Concerns (MURIC) on Saturday.

He said over the last five decades, the country witnessed improvement in literacy, religious and ethnic awareness but it has only led to more ethno – religious divisions.

The former governor said the divisions in the country is caused by ‘manufactured’ falsehood by some Nigerians.

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He said those championing religious or ethnic agendas are only after power or material gains.

“My point here is that we were not always like the way we have been recently. There was a time when religion and ethnicity were rightly seen as private, incidental matters to politics and governance, not the sole definers of a person, and certainly not negotiating tools in serious national affairs – and this applied everywhere in Nigeria until the mid-1990s to date, sadly,” he said.

Mr El Rufai said while growing up in the 1960s, leaders of the country worked towards the success of Nigeria unmindful of the ethnicity and religious backgrounds of those they worked with.

He maintained that obsession with both religious and ethnic identities has relegated Nigerians’ common bond of equal citizenship and humanity.

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“It, therefore, seems to me that our obsession with religion is only rivalled by the national fixation on ethnicity. These two markers of identity are pushed with a fervour that relegates or displaces the common bond of our humanity and the imperatives of equal citizenship.

“Those that are at the forefront of advancing these dual agendas merely do so to acquire privilege, power and prosperity without the hard work of acquiring competence and capacity, without undergoing the rigours of electoral competition and without industry and job creation! By pushing these agendas, one can be wealthy, own private jets and live a life of opulence without any identifiable education experience or business investments,” he said.

Tinubu’s election destroys myths

Mr El Rufai, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) said the election of Bola Tinubu has destroyed myths.

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“The election of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed and the woeful failure of Peter Obi presents opportunities for this retracing wrong steps and a renewed effort at nation-building,” he said.

He said among the myths destroyed were: ”that northerners would hold on to power belief held by many Nigerians, that northern politicians can be trusted and elected president from the south must be a Christian”

“Tinubu’s ascendance and Peter Obi’s rejection to third place in the 2023 election demystified fake polls and ethnic pundits, and fully demolished the falsehood that Christianisation of any national political contest by campaigning in churches and tribal enclaves will lead to electoral success,” Mr El Rufai added….CONTINUE READING