Rumours of a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship race in Kaduna State was confirmed on Friday as Governor Nasir el-Rufai announced Dr. Hadiza Abubakar Balarabe as his running mate for the 2019 election.
Balarabe, a Muslim, is Executive Secretary of the Kaduna State Primary Health Care Development Agency, from Sanga Local Government Area in the Christian dominated Southern part of Kaduna State.
The incumbent Deputy Governor, Mr. Barnabas Bala, has opted to contest the Southern Kaduna senatorial election in 2019.
Announcing the nomination in a statement on Friday, Samuel Aruwan, spokesman of the governor, said the choice of Dr. 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 Dr. Hadiza Balarabe as his running mate for the 2019 general election.
“The choice of Dr. Hadiza Balarabe as running mate continues Malam Nasir 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 the Executive Secretary of the Kaduna State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Balarabe has helped in revitalising the primary health care delivery in the state.
The statement said as the Executive Secretary of the Kaduna State Primary Health Care Development Agency, “she has overseen the 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 the Kaduna State Government, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe was Director of Public Health in the FCT. She studied Medicine at the University of Maiduguri, and graduated in 1988.
“She was a Senior Registrar at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital before joining the services of the 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.