Thursday, June 8, 2023


How Religion Played a Role in Securing Victory for Tinubu, According to El-Rufai

Nasir El-Rufai, the former Governor of Kaduna State, recently revealed that religion was strategically used as a political tool by himself and several northern governors to ensure the victory of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in the 2023 presidential election.

El-Rufai explained that the decision to employ religion as a political strategy was driven by the desire to address the prevailing issues of tribalism and religious divisions in Nigerian politics. During a public event in Kaduna, where he spoke in the Hausa language, he elaborated on the approach adopted.

"We undertook this course of action for the sake of God and not for personal gain. Our intention was to find solutions to the religious challenges currently faced in Nigeria and to provide a sense of inclusiveness for Muslims in the South West by enabling them to hold positions of power. It was this religious factor that contributed to Asiwaju's victory," El-Rufai affirmed.

El-Rufai also highlighted that the successful employment of a Muslim/Muslim ticket, which propelled his own political success in Kaduna, was replicated nationwide with Bola Tinubu as president and Kashim Shetima as vice president.

"In Kaduna state, we achieved what we set out to accomplish, and now it has been realized across Nigeria. It is unrealistic for anyone to claim they can win an election in Nigeria while publicly aligning themselves solely with Christianity. Even Peter Obi did not emerge victorious," El-Rufai stated.

Furthermore, El-Rufai mentioned that he and other northern governors stood firm in advocating for the emergence of a Yoruba Muslim from the South West as president, despite opposition from certain quarters.

Speaking in Hausa, El-Rufai clarified, "Regarding the presidential position, Professor Akintola's statement holds true. We, the Northern governors, reached an agreement that the presidency should return to the West. Though this agreement was not formalized, whether spoken or written, God knows its existence."

"When we noticed some individuals plotting to retain the presidency in the North, we disagreed. We do not operate that way. As Muslims, we have our traditions, and we will not go back on our word. That was the initial step. The subsequent step involved addressing the issues of tribalism and religion in Nigerian politics. We resolved to support BAT," El-Rufai explained.

El-Rufai went on to share that despite their previous disagreements, he and Tinubu were able to reconcile their differences due to the intervention of Professor Akintola and other leaders from Lagos. They presented the notion that, since power was being returned to the West, the Yoruba Muslims in the South West faced a dilemma as their candidates were unlikely to secure victory. Thus, they proposed that a Christian should contest the presidency with a Muslim from the North as vice president. Consequently, Tinubu emerged as the chosen candidate.

"We have accomplished in Nigeria what we achieved in Kaduna state. No one can convincingly claim that they can win an election in Nigeria by basing their politics solely on Christianity. Even Peter Obi did not succeed," El-Rufai concluded.

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