Ahead of the March 11 gubernatorial election in Kaduna State, the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and its main opposition, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) traded words over the Muslim/Muslim ticket adopted by the ruling APC.
In a petition submitted to the security agencies in Kaduna, the PDP alleged plans to discredit its candidate (Isah Ashiru) by propagating the Muslim/Muslim ticket agenda during the Friday prayers across the state.
In the petition, PDP warned that this will trigger protests by their members which could lead to violence like what happened during Juma’at Prayers in Katsina last week.
The statement signed by Assistant director PDP public affairs, Yakubu Lere, noted that, “PDP believe that, places of worship must not be politicized and wondered why after 8 years APC has nothing to campaign with other than religion.
“PDP wish to remind people of Kaduna State, that, under same Muslim-Muslim ticket over 100 Mosques where demolished. Similarly, out of over 100 thousand people sacked from office, 70 thousand were Muslims.
“Furthermore, it was under Muslim-Muslim that the same Muslims were denied Juma’at Prayers for 16 weeks while those prayed at Murtala square had to pay 500,000 fees.
“In the same vein, of 12 permanent secretaries sacked, 8 were Muslim while out of over 10 thousand shops confiscated from innocent traders 90 thousand belong to Muslim. So what has the present Muslim-Muslim ticket benefited Muslims in the State?
“In the light of all these, we urge our Muslim Umma in the state to shun these antics by those few Imams who were paid millions of naira to preach against their fellow Muslim brother, Rt. Hon. Isa Ashiru Kudan – wa’iyazu billah.”
In a swift reaction, the APC campaign council through its Director, Strategic Communication, Ibraheem Musa on Friday, said the PDP should be held responsible in the case of a breakdown of law and order.
He, therefore, called for the arrest of one of the party’s spokesmen, Yakubu Lere.
“The Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) should be held responsible for any breach of peace in Kaduna state before, during and after the gubernatorial election and one of its spokesmen should be invited by security agents to shed more light on the looming breakdown of law and order that he had earlier warned against.
APC noted, “In a petition to security agents, the Assistant Director Public Affairs of its Kaduna state chapter, had raised an alarm over possible violence today, ‘’like what happened during juma’at prayers in Katsina last week,’’ when PDP members protested the use of ‘’Islamic clerics.’’
“The petition whose excerpts have gone viral is somewhat ambiguous and lacks clarity, so security agents should ask the PDP spokesman to share his intelligence with them.
“For example, he should mention the people who will be using “Islamic clerics’’ during today’s Jumma’at prayers, and in what ways and manner they will do so. Above all, the spokesman should reveal how the reaction of PDP members will lead to violence.
“Failing to give a satisfactory answer, the spokesman should be charged to court under extant laws of Kaduna state, for giving false information or concealment, defamation and public incitement.
“Ironically, rather than try to win the people’s support, given its locust years in office which citizens of Kaduna state rejected in 2015, PDP is trying to blackmail its way to office by intimidation, raising the spectre of violence and dragging our respected Islamic clerics into the murky waters of politics, in its desperation to grab power during the March 11 gubernatorial election.
“The residents of Kaduna state will not forget the 16 wasteful years of the PDP government in a hurry, when they had nothing to show for the huge statutory allocations that it had received from the Federation Account, in terms of development.
“Instead, the last PDP administration left behind huge debts and pension liabilities, a state divided along ethno-religious lines and a subnational with very low Human Development Indices.
“Upon assuming office in 2015, the Malam Nasir El Rufai government reversed these negative parameters, by revamping education, overhauling the health sector and improving human capital in general,”A it declared.