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08/03/2022 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – Nasir El-Rufai has failed to prevent violence against Christians as governor of Nigeria’s Kaduna state, and now, he’s attempting to have a say in national politics.

On July 26, Nigeria’s presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, held a private meeting with Governor El-Rufai and other notable members of the APC. The meeting included the vice-presidential candidate of the party, the APC national chairman, and the APC national secretary. El Rufai’s attendance in this private meeting with the presidential candidate shows that he might be influencing decisions on a national level soon.

Earlier this year, the Tinubu Support Organization, a prominent political support group, endorsed Governor El Rufai as the best running mate choice for the APC. Although the Kaduna state governor was not selected as the vice-presidential candidate, it is clear that his opinion holds some weight. For Christians who have suffered because of governor El Rufai’s actions, his potential to gain more power is concerning.

Hundreds of deaths in the last several years can be linked to El Rufai’s own decisions to make Christian communities vulnerable to attack and his troubling history of fueling ethnic and religious tension in his state.

Beginning in 2016, El Rufai has repeatedly put entire Christian communities under house arrest, leading to hundreds of deaths as attackers quickly learned that communities under house arrest are easy targets.

In addition to these actions, El Rufai claimed, in a tweet posted on September 8, 2014, that Christians were behind Boko Haram, funding and controlling it “to tarnish the name of Islam.” In his tweet, he specifically accused the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and other Christians of being behind specific church bombings and shootings. Far from a front for CAN, Boko Haram is an Islamist terror group with strong ties to Islamic State.

El Rufai has consistently shown his inability to protect Christian communities and has turned a blind eye to their persecution. This new reach for power could lead to an increase in violence among the most vulnerable in Nigeria.

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