The Catholic Church in Kaduna State has reached out to President Bola Tinubu and Governor Uba Sani, urging them to intervene and address the recent inflammatory religious comments made by the former governor, Nasir El-Rufai. The church fears that if left unaddressed, these remarks could escalate into a nationwide religious crisis.
El-Rufai’s controversial statement, which focused on Muslim dominance in Kaduna State’s governance, has gained significant attention. In a video circulating online, the former governor can be heard stating in the local Hausa language that most Christians in the state did not support his party during the elections, resulting in their exclusion from key positions, including the Deputy Governor role.
Moreover, El-Rufai expressed confidence that the All Progressives Congress (APC) could win elections in both Kaduna State and the nation without the support of the Christian community.
To express their concerns and demand action, the Nigerian Catholic Diocesan Priests Association (NCDPA) in Kaduna State wrote an open letter to Governor Uba Sani, copying the Presidency and the Governor of Kaduna State. The letter sought Governor Sani’s official stance on El-Rufai’s provocative statements, considering that he was present at the event where these remarks were made.
The letter, jointly signed by the chairmen of Kaduna Archdiocese, Kafanchan Diocese, and Zaria Diocese, emphasized the Priests’ expectation that Governor Sani, in his capacity, would rectify the misconceptions created and perpetuated by El-Rufai’s actions and comments over the past eight years in Kaduna State.
The open letter was also forwarded to the Presidency and the three Catholic Bishops of Kaduna, Kafanchan, and Zaria, namely Archbishop Matthew Man’oso Ndagoso, Bishop Julius Yakubu Kundi, and Very Rev. Fr Michael Kagarko.
“We cannot idly stand by and watch unpatriotic individuals, who have no personal stake or concern for our state, come and freely ignite conflict. Moreover, we and our congregations have borne the brunt of ineffective governance, particularly in the last eight years,” the letter stated.
The Catholic Church’s intention behind addressing this issue was to support the success of those in leadership roles. They emphasized that religion holds its rightful place as defined by the Constitution and should never be used as a shield for incompetence and failure.
By raising their concerns and seeking intervention, the Catholic Church hopes to prevent any further escalation of tension and promote religious harmony in Kaduna State.