On Wednesday, Reverend Joseph Hayab, the Chairman of the Kaduna State Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), called on Nigerians to disregard the alleged Islamization claims made by the state’s former governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
Hayab also stated that El-Rufai’s recent remarks about a Muslim/Muslim ticket and President Bola Tinubu’s victory silencing his critics and CAN were tactics aimed at advancing his alleged presidential ambitions and promoting division.
The CAN chairman’s response was prompted by a viral video on social media in which El-Rufai purportedly stated that the Muslim-Muslim ticket would continue in the Kaduna governorship elections for more than 20 years. The former governor also claimed that Muslim dominance was being replicated at the national level.
However, while appearing on Arise TV’s Morning Show, Hayab dismissed El-Rufai’s alleged comments, advising Nigerians not to be concerned as El-Rufai was merely seeking attention and trying to provoke unsuspecting citizens.
Hayab further remarked that El-Rufai is living in a fantasy where he can play religious games and possibly become the future president of Nigeria.
The Kaduna CAN chairman said, “You know, since he (El-Rufai) is up to something, he is playing a game and what he would do is to confuse people and set up Christians against Muslims; set up Christians against the present government, and then he would stand to benefit from it tomorrow. Unfortunately, I will say to him, he has failed from the onset.
“With this, he has actually proved to Nigerians that he is not in the first place fit to be a leader and I think that is one of the problems in Nigeria. We give people power without testing their emotional stability whether they are mentally alright to lead.”
Asked to give an formal response to El-Rufai’s statement, he said, “Our simple response is that ignores the madman. Ignore the man who is calling for attention and ignore the man who is up to a gimmick and ignore the man who is up to an agenda, don’t even take him seriously.
“If his Muslim/Muslim ticket has actually succeeded, we wouldn’t have had the killings, the division, and the problems we have in Kaduna. So, there was not even success to record this in his administration.
“El-Rufai is just trying to play games and we don’t even want to glorify his game, we simply see him as someone whose era, influence, and power are over but he wants to still be relevant and he wants to bring up something that will give him relevance because he knows that there are so many ignorant people around who may think that he is defending faith but I can tell you so many Imams will remind him how he demolished their mosque; how he maltreated them and never respected them as people of faith, so he is just playing politics and trying to take advantage of the situation.
“Buhari, in all his three initial attempts to be president, played all these games and it never worked for him. But because he (Buhari) had played that game before, then he went into alliance with other political party and he eventually became the president.
“But Buhari, who he (El-Rufai) is trying to mimic has three things El-Rufai does not have. Buhari was at that time seen, to be honest; Buhari was not talkative nor talk carelessly like you (El-Rufai), and Buhari was seen by people to some extent as someone who they can deal with. But you (El-Rufai), 90 per cent of the people know that everything you (El-Rufai) say is a lie and only for your own gain. So, we know that Kaduna Muslims know that El-Rufai is not speaking for them and we know Muslims won’t think along El-Rufai’s way.
“Someone (El-Rufai) who has eaten and become fat from our commonwealth should not because of his selfishness divide us and create unnecessary confusion, Nigeria must not take such a person seriously because if truth be told, he (El-Rufai) needs some checks at the psychiatric (hospital) so that we will be sure whether he is healthy.”
Hayab further said that with El-Rufai’s alleged agenda, he was setting a trap for President Tinubu.
“El-Rufai is deliberately also setting a trap and setting a slippery ground for Bola Tinubu because the moment these things became heated, then people will go to Bola Tinubu but we know the difference between El-Rufai and Bola Tinubu and others,” Hayab said.