By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
For the fact that Kaduna remains a 50-50 Christian/Muslim population, mulling a Muslim-Muslim ticket is shooting oneself in the foot and is as good as saying a gubernatorial candidate that takes such a decision has lost even before going to the polls in Kaduna State, my state of birth.
It is not even a choice that any wise politician who is serious about winning the 2019 gubernatorial election should consider thinking, talk less of making public.
For crying out loud this is 2018 and not 1993. Besides, this is Kaduna State and not Nigeria and only an illusioned mind can even dream such before daring to make it open.
I just hope that it is not true that Governor Nasir el-Rufai has made his chances of retaining his seat worse by choosing a Muslim like himself as a running mate in a volatile state like Kaduna.
For those of us who have always seen this coming, the governor has made attempts to gag, using instruments of the state like the police which our taxes are used in paying their salaries to arraign in court over trumped-up charges.
It is indeed pathetic that after wasting a first tenure in which there are no concrete achievements to show on the ground, the governor has sought to make a move that will fail, using the religious card to try to hoodwink the Muslim populace of the state.
This move will no doubt hit the rocks even before the votes are cast as not all the Muslims will buy into it, judging from the love that has been lost from the Shi’ites, who also have a sizeable population in the state.
Just like there were prophets of old that were not afraid of losing their necks when telling tyrant kings like Ahab and his beloved Jezebel the truth, we will not maintain sealed lips in such matters that affect a large chunk of the population.
We will not be afraid of daggers drawn against our necks, nor nozzles of guns pointed at close range at our temples. We will shout about this injustice on the foot tops and let all those that are upright from both major religions join us in condemning such a case of outright disrespect for a faith.
We will not cover our mouths out of fear of the chains of the oppressors, dangled over our necks with threats of jail terms reeled out at us for every attempt at expressing our feelings.
We will not be deterred by the boots of the military against our backs or the whips and lashes of the oppressor. We will stand tall and proclaim what’s right even in the face of death, knowing that we have a creator, whom our life is in his hands.
This is that era where we stand and decree that we have been given all authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy, knowing that nothing will harm us only if we believe and stand firm.
Our deliverer will come forth and show himself as he really is and even death will flee from his presence, hence nothing will have the power to quench his consuming fire.
We rejoice when such things happen, knowing that it is a pointer that his kingdom where justice shall reign is near, a time where there will be no oppression, sickness or death. A time of refreshment and peace, a time where the wicked will be no more, but only the righteous will shine forth and eat the good of the land.
As for us, all required is to pray earnestly for that kingdom to come, while exhibiting the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Meanwhile, for now, we must be as wise as the serpent and harmless as the dove.
Now a ticket the 10 reasons why a Muslim-Muslim ticket will fail in Kaduna State, in my opinion, see them below:
1. Kaduna has a population of 50-50 ratio of Christians and Muslims
With the almost 50:50 population balance in Kaduna State, the decision for a Muslim-Muslim ticket is a decision that would attract protest votes from even the members of the party that settles for that.
2. The 11 local government areas which are predominantly Christian, will ensure block protest votes against a Muslim-Muslim ticket and the party that fields same.
Areas that are predominantly Christian will deliver block votes for the other party. In Kaduna State, 11 local government areas are predominantly Christian. They are the eight from Southern Kaduna, Kajuru, Chikun and Lere.
3. The rational thinking Muslims will not support such a ticket.
Rational thinking Muslims who would want to see a united Kaduna State would never support such a ticket, knowing that it would only further polarize the state.
4. All those who want a united Kaduna State will resist such a ticket.
Christians and Muslims that want to see a united Kaduna State will unite against anyone that settles for such a one-sided ticket.
5. The fear of Islamization agenda from such a ticket will further alienate its advocates from the electorates.
The rumoured talk of plans of Islamization will be argued based on such a ticket and not even churches that have mostly told voters to ‘vote their conscience’ will remain non-partisan. Churches will be turned into campaign grounds and even passive Christians who don’t come out to vote will be motivated to prevent the emergence of the Muslim-Muslim elect.
6. The Shi’ite’s factor is also a big hindrance for such a move.
The members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) will rally their millions if members within Kaduna State and vote against such a ticket, owing to perceived injustices allegedly suffered under the present administration.
7. The Shehu Sani factor.
No one can take away the fact that Distinguished Senator Shehu Sani, representing Kaduna Central would not have a role to play in deciding who emerges governor in 2019. His support for another candidate will reduce votes if the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the general elections. He defected from APC alongside his supporters.
8. The Hunkuyi factor
Distinguished Senator Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi, recently apologized to Kaduna people when he was formally received into the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He begged for roles he played in El-Rufai’s emergence as governor, vowing to ensure the ‘error’ is corrected in 2019.
9. The Isa Ashiru Kudan factor.
PDP’s gubernatorial candidate for 2019 in Kaduna State, Rt. Honourable Isa Ashiru Kudan finished as runner-up in the 2014 APC Primaries. He was said to have been the favourite, but list due to Hunkuyi’s award-winning support for el-Rufai. He is a grassroots politician and has assured that all those sacked by the present administration will be reinstated. A devout Muslim respected by a cleric of both religions and Muslim faithful across the state will be a big threat to the realization of a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
10. The Jacob Onjewu Dickson factor.
For the fact that the writer, Jacob Onjewu Dickson, an award-winning journalist and a citizen of Kaduna State by birth, is one of those being persecuted by the present administration in Kaduna State for reports they feel are ‘unfavourable’, all the Idomas in Kaduna and many if his professional colleagues will also support to ensure a new administration is birthed.