Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, believes “the barrier” must be broken if there must be any meaningful progress in Nigeria.
The governor criticised some individuals, especially the elites whom he accused of creating obstacles to the development of the country.
“The barrier to progress erected by the elite and a few individuals must be broken,” he was quoted as saying on Saturday in a statement by his spokesman, Samuel Aruwan.
El-Rufai who is seeking re-election in the general polls stressed that his administration would not bow to any pressure in its effort to build a better Kaduna.
He restated his commitment to the development of the state and ensuring that the welfare of the people comes first.
“Resources of Kaduna State must be used for the health care, security, education and economic development of ordinary citizens who have lost access to basic infrastructure for decades,” the governor said during a radio programme.
He added, “We will not be intimidated or distracted from putting the ordinary citizen first by mundane and divisive politics. Our trust is in God. This gives us the confidence that the ordinary citizens of Kaduna State see and appreciate what we are doing, and will support us to victory.”
Governor El-Rufai further decried the manipulation of religion and ethnicity for political interests, noting that it was holding back the progress of the nation.
He also explained that the choice of Dr Hadiza Balarabe as his running mate was influenced by considerations of competence, developing the state and pulling the talents of the women.
The governor condemned the situation where some public officer holders attach religion and ethnicity to the service of the people.
He insisted that the choice of Dr Balarabe as his running mate was not predicated on religion or ethnicity but getting a deputy governor that suits the quest for a better Kaduna.
“If you are sick and in dire need of life when you are rushed to hospital, what do you need? Life or religion of the doctor?” El-Rufai questioned. “Life is what you need and you will not waste time on the religion and ethnicity of the doctor.”
He said, “It’s the same thing with business and investment. You hire those who can make your investment profitable.
“But when it comes to public service, some people will not be concerned about real development but will start talking of religion and ethnicity. This is a serious problem and is part of the reasons for Nigeria’s retrogression.”