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John Alechenu, Abuja

The Political Committee of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), has while congratulating all governorship candidates of various political parties cautioned them against ignoring the inherent diversity of the state in their choice of running mates.

Secretary of the group, Simon Reef Musa, said this in a statement, in Abuja, on Wednesday.

He said SOKAPU was elated by the fact that most of the candidates emerged as standard bearers of their political parties devoid of violence.

According to him, the group looks forward to meeting them soon for fruitful deliberations on how to build bridges in uniting our dear state for development.

He said, “SOKAPU notes that there has been no better time than now for all parties and both zones to work towards enthroning inclusiveness across the various parts of Kaduna State.

“ In spite of the tension and animosity prevalent along ethno-religious divides, the Southern Kaduna people are committed to the welfare and security of all citizens of the state.

“In this regard, the attention of SOKAPU has been drawn to subtle threats mounted on governorship candidates to appoint their running mates without regard to the ethno-religious divide in the state.

“Video clip of a certain preacher warning against the consideration of ethno-religious option has made the rounds on social media platforms, warning that any attempt to review Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai’s imposition of Muslim-Muslim governorship ticket for Kaduna State would be stoutly resisted.

“Southern Kaduna wishes to categorically put all parties on notice that any effort by any political party to unilaterally impose the choice of a deputy governorship candidate without recourse to our socio-cultural and ethno-religious composition will forfeit the support of Southern Kaduna.

“SOKAPU believes in the principle of power-sharing between the North and South of the State as was in practice between 1999 and 2015, whereby the citizens of Kaduna State witnessed how this equitable power sharing formula was deployed to give every zone a sense of belonging.

“We look forward to the resumption of such power-sharing principles which went a long way in deepening our democratic experience.

“While the Southern Kaduna people are apprehensive at the inequitable distribution of democratic dividends in the State as it affects their zone, the near complete neglect of our communities in infrastructural development has stalled major development in Southern Kaduna.”

SOKAPU said it would never support any governorship candidate or party that attempts to continue with the unequal distribution of political appointments as is being witnessed under the present dispensation.

Adding “We believe that permanent interests of the Southern Kaduna people are predicated on justice and equal treatment for all zones.”

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