Rumour of a Muslim-Muslim ticket for All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship race in Kaduna State was confirmed on Friday as Governor Nasir el-Rufai announced Mrs Hadiza Abubakar Balarabe as his running mate for 2019 election.
Balarabe, a Muslim, is Executive Secretary of Kaduna State Primary Health Care Development Agency, from Sanga Local Government Area in Christian dominated Southern part of Kaduna State.
Incumbent Deputy Governor, Mr. Barnabas Bala, has opted to contest Southern Kaduna senatorial election in 2019.
Announcing the nomination in a statement on Friday, Mr Samuel Aruwan, spokesman of the governor, said the choice of Hadiza Balarabe as running mate was a continuation of El-Rufai’s deliberate policy of promoting women.
The statement said “Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has announced the selection of Hadiza Balarabe as his running mate for 2019 general election.
“The choice of Hadiza Balarabe as running mate continues Mr El-Rufai’s deliberate policy of promoting women.
“There are five female commissioners in his 14-person cabinet, a feat not attained even by governors that had much larger cabinets.
“This is the first time in the history of Kaduna State that a major political party will select a woman as running mate”.
The statement said since her appointment in February 2016, as Executive Secretary of Kaduna State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Balarabe has helped in revitalising the primary health care delivery in the state.
The statement said as Executive Secretary of Kaduna State Primary Health Care Development Agency, “she has overseen Kaduna State Government’s programme to revitalise and strengthen primary health care as the core of health service delivery in the state.”
According to the statement: “Under her watch, the state is renovating and equipping 255 primary health centres with tools to assist better antenatal services and safer delivery.
“The agency has also helped expand vaccine coverage to protect children across the state.
“Prior to joining Kaduna State Government, Balarabe was Director of Public Health in FCT. She studied Medicine at University of Maiduguri, and graduated in 1988.
“She was a Senior Registrar at Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital before joining the services of FCT in 2004.”
Before the nomination of Balarabe, rumours of el-Rufai’s Muslim – Muslim ticket had been trending for sometime, with some government officials dismissing it as mischievous and a blackmail by opposition politicians.