Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi (APC/Kaduna North), declared on Thursday that Governor Nasir el-Rufa’i has not been fair to Kaduna State, and vowed to “do everything possible” to vote him out in 2019. Hunkuyi disclosed this in Kaduna, at a ceremony to formally unveil a forum tagged: “APC Aspirants Forum,” saying “the battle line has been drawn; we must vote out el-Rufa’i in 2019 general elections.”

Sen. Hunkuyi said he was offering to lead the forum as he was not with el-Rufa’i and called on all those he said were not among those being sponsored by the government to come together and unite so as to challenge those that controlled the government. He said the people should not be afraid as it was only God that gave power, adding that those hated by the Kaduna State Government should cross over to his forum.

He accused el-Rufa’i of not being fair to the majority of the people, saying that the forum would work toward ensuring that non-performing officials were voted out. The Senator described the forum as a “thumb-down revolution” to oust el-Rufa’i, and urged the APC to ensure internal democracy.

“We will put structures at all levels to ensure that APC followers get credible candidates that will be rallying points for all; anything less is not negotiable,” he said.

He added that the forum, which he would lead, would work with APC leaders to ensure that the party executives and political office aspirants emerged through democratic processes. He therefore urged stakeholders to join hands with the forum to “rescue our dear party and Kaduna State from total collapse”, and promised to chart a new course in the effort toward a better Kaduna State.

However, Hunkuyi said he might contest the Kaduna governorship seat in 2019, stating that the forum was to “check and neutralise the power of incumbency.”

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Tijjani Ramalan, Chairman, Kaduna Restoration Group, said the group would reject Mr. el-Rufai’s candidacy “if he chooses to contest in 2019.”

Ramalan alleged that el-Rufai’s policies and actions were “anti-people”, and accused him of “having no regards to the wishes of those who supported his emergence as governor in 2015”.

He urged APC members to support the forum to protect democracy and provide its dividends to the people.

“We are told that an APC reconciliation team will come to Kaduna. If they want our support, el-Rufa’i should not run in 2019,” he said.

A different group, APC Akida, led by the likes of Senator Shehu Sani, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed and Mr. Tom Maiyashi, is also at daggers drawn with el-Rufa’i.