The former Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Sunday, said that the culture of citizens-centred governance should be encouraged in the country, to drive even development.
Mr El-Rufai spoke at the launch of an autobiography and retirement programme of Ishaq Akintola, a professor, in Lagos.
He bows out of the university service on Monday, on attainment of the statutory retirement age of 70, and the book, entitled “My Jihad”, x-rayed his activist struggles and achievements through perseverance, to encourage young social crusaders.
Mr El-Rufai, who was the keynote speaker and awardee at the programme, said with the present political advancement of the country, any political mobilisation based on ethnic or religious leaning was bound to fail.
He said that the enthronement of Tinubu-Shettima was a repeat of the Abiola-Kingibe feat.
According to him, the sound footing with which the Tinubu leadership was going had deflected the ranks of those that did not see any good in the same faith ticket that propelled them to power.
“As a people, the earlier we distil ourselves from the primordial ethnoreligious perception of things, especially as it concerns national leadership, the better for us.
“The way with which the present administration at the centre is changing things for the common good of the Nigerian people within a short period shows that leadership should be hinged on merit and not entitlement basis.
“We must de-emphasise religion and ethnic colouration for us to build a society where no one should be discriminated upon on the basis of ethnic nationality, religion or political leaning.
“As members of the two major religious groups in the country, if we find ourselves in public positions, we should ensure we practice the basic principles of leadership as encapsulated in both Christian and Islamic religions.
“Both religions espoused the culture of good leadership, but some individual persons tend to do that which is at variance with the scriptures,” he said.
He regretted that leadership choice based on entitlement in Kaduna State plunged the state into a protracted crisis in the bygone years.
The former governor, however, said a recent change in the old tradition of leadership choice had changed things for the better.
He described the South-western part of the country as a tolerant society and encouraged them to continue with such spirit for the development of the country.
The former governor expressed delight in the tempo of religious activism of the celebrator with his MURIC organisation.
Mr El-Rufai said that the crusader, through his preaching and bridge-building across the divide, was instrumental to the power shift from the North to the South in 2023.
He commended the celebrator for his vigour in the pursuit of uprightness and a just Nigerian society, praying that Allah would continue to grant him wisdom to do his work.
NAN reports that the former Kaduna governor was awarded the symbol “Icon of Ariwa Intigrity” for his service to humanity.
Other awardees include former Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami and former Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Muiz Banire.
The event drew personalities from academia, state actors, religious groups and the corporate world.
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