The governor of Kaduna state Nasir el-Rufai says he sought President Muhammadu Buhari’s opinion before choosing Hadiza Balarabe as his running mate for the 2019 elections.
El-rufai was reacting to the condemnation, which followed his choice of a Muslim as a running mate in a multi-religious and a multi-ethnic state like Kaduna.
The choice of the governor had sparked mixed reactions, with some people, including Senator Shehu Sani, accusing him of being insensitive to the diversity in the state.
However, on Tuesday, when a delegation from Sanga, Balarabe’s local government, paid the governor a thank-you visit for choosing their daughter, el-Rufai defended his choice.
He said he consulted President Buhari before settling for Balarabe among 32 candidates for the deputy governorship position.
This online medium had reported earlier that the governor said those criticising him for his choice are people who never voted for him, adding that the government house is not a place of worship but a place of work.
Governor el-Rufai said when the incumbent deputy governor, Barnabas Bantex, told him about a year ago that he was going to contest for Senate, he was in a dilemma over how to get a replacement.
His words: “So, we started piling list of people for consideration and I had up to 32 names, including names of some people seated with me here today.
“Then we started selection and dropping of names based on merit. From 32 names to 17 to 12 and then five names -three males and two females.
“At that point, and as usual of us, when we are taking serious decisions, we consult President Muhammadu Buhari, because he is the only person I know that has worked in the army, he has been governor, minister and president.
“So, when I told him, he said anyone older than you should be dropped, then one name was dropped, remaining two men and two women, then he said since you are interested in a woman, pick the best woman. That was how I picked Hadiza.”