The re-elected governor of Kaduna State, Nasiru Ahmed el-Rufai has commended the people in the state for voting for the first female deputy governor in the far North of the country.
“My fellow citizens, with your votes, Kaduna State has made history by electing a woman as Deputy Governor, the first elected in the far north of our country.
“It is absolutely necessary to put on record my immense appreciation to you for this. You have defied those who do not wish to allow our women to use their talents in all spheres. You have taken a bold step forward to create a much-needed role model for every girl-child in Kaduna State and Northern Nigeria. I assure you that Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe and I will work resolutely for the progress of our dear state.”
Governor el-Rufai, in his acceptance speech after he was declared winner of the Saturday, March 9 governorship and House of Assembly election, said: “as you did in 2015, you have again decided to entrust in me the responsibility to lead Kaduna State for another four years. I accept my reelection with gratitude and humility. I thank the people of Kaduna State most profoundly for this vote of confidence in our stewardship.”
He said that his deputy and others in the All Progressives Congress (APC) campaigned hard for the people’s votes “because we do not take you – our people – for granted. This outstanding victory has been achieved because you stood by us. You supported our governance agenda of Putting People First. You embraced our efforts to make lives better by focusing on the things that matter to ordinary people. In difficult circumstances you saw that we were promoting equality of opportunity, that we were improving schools and hospitals to make lives better for the people, that we were making our state attractive for business.
“How can we not be grateful when you upheld us so strongly when certain forces began resisting our reforms? You stood resolutely by us as we undertook programmes to expand access to Education and Health and to revitalise the public sector.”
Governor el-Rufai is happy that the people in the state have voted for equal opportunity, genuine development and growth, “and have rejected the politics of parochialism. Never again can the few entitled elite pursue their narrow interests using sentiments, and masquerading under the disguise of fighting for our people.
He described the resounding victory as people’s support of governance reforms, adding that he was threatened with dire electoral consequences because he dared to disengage unqualified teachers, redundant public servants, restructured district administrations and over-bloated local government staff.
“We were warned that even though we were doing the right things and doing them right, the beneficiaries of our policies – the ordinary citizens of our state will not understand and will vote us out. We never relented, confident that you know that we are working honestly for you. You did not disappoint us. We thank you again.
“In this moment of victory, we acknowledge and respect the preferences of our fellow citizens who did not vote for us. We would listen to their concerns, but we invite them to join hands with us so that we can together build a better Kaduna State. The elections are over, and so should the divisive rhetoric that certain persons and groups chose to inject into the campaigns. It is time to come together and continue the work of rebuilding Kaduna State. Where there has been strife, let us seek calm through accord and conciliation. Where suspicion and ill-will have reigned, let us enthrone goodwill. We can do so much for the good of our state and all its people when we come together.
“We are committed to uniting the state around common values, anchored on equal citizenship, law and order, and protection of constitutional rights. We are not the only diverse place on Earth. Let constructive endeavours replace the bickering and suspicion. Let us all see and value each other as human beings descended from Adam and Eve. Let us end the misuse, abuse and manipulation of religion for personal gains. Religion should be a private matter. Our identities should not become barriers to a common humanity. Our doors are open to a new chapter of concord.
“We ran for election as APC candidates. But today, we are back to leading Team Kaduna. There is so much to do to make our state stronger, to tackle poverty, to improve health outcomes to provide decent education to create jobs for our youths, and to secure our communities. Let us do it together.
“We do not have time to exult in our victory. Our duty is to work diligently for our people. We shall not disappoint you. You have invested your hope in us. We shall not deliver despair. It is a new day in our state. Let us work together to make it the start of a better future.”