Prominent religious leaders under the auspices of Southern Kaduna Christian Leaders Council (SKCLC) led by Bishop Joseph Danlami Bagobiri at the weekend vowed to work against political deceit and injustices being meted out against its.
The religious leaders also said that they will mobilize their followers to only vote for credible and competent candidates that will address fundamental issues of the area without recourse to political parties and other inclinations.
Presenting their position during Southern Kaduna Prayer Summit held in Kafanchan, Professor Yusufu Turaki said they are out to change the political game in the area and bring their people to the center stage of politics.
Turaki, a former National President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said “I stand here to speak on behalf of Southern Kaduna Leaders Council and also on behalf of the majority of our people and Southern Kaduna in general. The rallying cry, groaning and yearning of our people can be summarized in few words: the quest for socio-political and economic emancipation. Our sons in particular have been involved in politics since independence, but with no tangible, visible and enduring results.”
“In recent times we have suffered too many political setbacks. One in particular, worth mentioning, is the death of Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa. Since our sons and daughters have lost their political bearings and relevance, we are now being compelled to chart a new political path for our people. , so that they can become the centerpiece of our current politics. We longer trust our politicians,” Turaki said.
Turaki, who is one of the leading African theologians said: “We are not longer interested in any political slogans, or political posters, or political money bags, but only real political stuff for our people. We are no longer interested in hearing political stories and lies of politicians; rather we want to be listened to. We want our politicians to listen to us and reason with us and deliberate with us on real social, political and economic issues affecting the lives of our people. We have a political agenda for our people and Southern Kaduna.
“We are looking for those sincere and honest politicians who will come and join with us in an open round-table discussions on real political issues that affect the lives of our people. It is only after our mutual understanding, mutual respect and mutual political responsibility to the electorate, that voting can begin. No vote with any political clarity, justice and accountability. Our politicians are accountable to us the electorate and not the other way round.
“We are looking for politicians who are ready both to sympathize and empathize with our people who have suffered political deprivation, neglect, marginalization and under-development by all successive governments. We sincerely want politicians who will identify with us and take solidarity with us. By the way, we know them by their fruits,” Turaki added.
The traditional leaders said: “We want politicians who will sit down with us and together, we define the greatest political yearning and aspirations of our people.
“The people of Southern Kaduna are not asking you to start thinking which political club can meet our political mandate. Do not make a mistake of doing. In doing so, you can easily fall into the hands of deceptive political clubs. Rather, this requires a serious and engaging political discourse between the politicians and our people in order to determining which politicians have the political stuff in the arena of political turf.
“Your vote is political power. We do not say ‘your vote is your political power’. Your vote indeed does produce political power, but you may necessarily have the political power.
“Somebody may steal it or trick you and you be disposed of it. In Southern Kaduna, we have a very large voting constituency, but it never always translate into acquired political power, but servitude as others take our political power to either use against us or for themselves. Our new political path requires understanding, wisdom and calculated and deliberate action.”
The deputy governor of Kaduna state, Ambassador Nuhu Bajoga and running mate of All Progressives Congress (APC) Arc. Bala Barnabas Bantex were among thousands that graced the summit.