Samuel Kwamkur, a prominent figure within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Plateau state, issued a stern warning to Nasir El-Rufai, the former Governor of Kaduna State, cautioning him against making inflammatory remarks that could ignite conflict in Nigeria.
Kwamkur, a former National Director of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), expressed his concerns during a press conference held in Jos on Sunday. He was responding to alleged statements made by El-Rufai before his departure from office, wherein the former governor purportedly claimed that the Islamic dominance in Kaduna had been successfully extended to the entire country and would persist.
According to Kwamkur, El-Rufai allegedly acknowledged deceiving Christians who questioned the Muslim/Muslim ticket during election campaigns, assuring them that it was not driven by a desire for religious dominance. However, Kwamkur accused El-Rufai of revealing in a viral video that the tickets, both at the national and state levels, were intended to promote Islamic dominance. The former governor allegedly boasted about a sustained Islamic-dominated government for the next two decades, not only in Kaduna but throughout Nigeria.
Expressing his disappointment with El-Rufai’s remarks, Kwamkur argued that the former governor’s classification of citizens as “them” versus “us” implicated him in the wanton killings, destruction of Christian places of worship, and homes in Kaduna. Kwamkur was surprised that someone like El-Rufai, who had been considered for key government positions such as Chief of Staff to the President or Secretary to the Government of the Federation, had transformed into a “confirmed religious bigot” with a hidden agenda to exploit religion in order to destabilize the country.
Kwamkur advised El-Rufai against using his words to mislead Nigerians into believing that President Bola Tinubu’s electoral victory was part of an agenda to Islamize Nigeria. He recounted how he had discouraged Christians and Nigerians from accepting the notion of an Islamization agenda behind Tinubu’s Muslim/Muslim ticket, trusting in Tinubu’s character and previous actions. However, Kwamkur now believed that El-Rufai’s speech confirmed the existence of a hidden agenda that needed to be taken seriously.
El-Rufai’s speech, as paraphrased by Kwamkur, conveyed his religious bigotry and his active involvement in an Islamic terrorist group operating in the Sambisa forest. Kwamkur highlighted El-Rufai’s disregard for Christians by questioning why he should assign a deputy governor to “them” when most of “them” cannot vote for his party. This classification, according to Kwamkur, connected El-Rufai to the killings, demolitions, and religious discrimination against Christians in Kaduna. Moreover, El-Rufai’s belief that Islamic dominance would bring peace, justice, and fair play demonstrated his ignorance of what truly constitutes justice and fairness. Kwamkur emphasized that discrimination and attempts to dominate a particular religion or tribe would only lead to anarchy and crisis.
Kwamkur further criticized El-Rufai for claiming that the victory of Bola Tinubu had silenced the Christian Association of Nigeria, questioning whether only Muslims had voted for Tinubu and disregarding the Christian votes for Atiku and Peter Obi. He accused El-Rufai of being callous and insensitive, pointing out that his involvement in the killings in Kaduna had been previously discussed by a friend, but Kwamkur had initially defended him. Now, after witnessing El-Rufai’s address to the Muslim Umma, Kwamkur was convinced that El-Rufai was behind the religious crises and insecurity in Nigeria.
Kwamkur emphasized that Christianity does not condone deception and promotes unconditional love regardless of religion,
region, or background. He argued that justice, equity, and fairness in Christianity involve providing equal opportunities for all, irrespective of population, religion, or tribe. He contrasted El-Rufai’s extremist views with those of respected Islamic leaders who genuinely cared about peace, development, and growth in Nigeria.
Kwamkur urged El-Rufai to use platforms like the Nigeria Interreligious Council (NIREC) to promote unity instead of striving to be celebrated as a religious hero and jihadist. He questioned how Nigeria could progress with such leaders in authority and advised Tinubu to be cautious of individuals like El-Rufai who could do more harm than good. Kwamkur called on all Nigerian governors, particularly those in the North, to focus on uplifting citizens from poverty and insecurity and delivering good governance instead of fueling hatred and emphasizing religious and tribal differences. He concluded by expressing his belief that God would continue to expose those among Nigerians who disguised themselves as allies but were, in reality, wolves in sheep’s clothing.