The All Progressives Congress (APC) may lose some Christian stalwarts if Governor Nasir El-Rufai is picked as its 2023 vice-presidential candidate.
El-Rufai is one of the governors being touted to emerge as the standard bearer, Bola Tinubu’s running mate.
But certain party chieftains have vowed to defect if such happens, a development that will mostly favour the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
An insider made the disclosure in a chat on Sunday, amid the ongoing horse-trading.
He stated that the Christian leadership in Nigeria and the adherents do not want the Kaduna helmsman in the presidency.
A top reason for the opposition to his candidature is the Southern Kaduna crises. Recurring invasions by gunmen have resulted in the death of hundreds of people, mainly Christians.
El-Rufai has been long accused of not doing enough to secure the area despite the routine unjust murder of locals.
For years, several communities have been attacked, leaving horrific tales of massacres that claimed the lives of men, women, children and the aged.
Yet, there are no regular arrests and prosecution of the culprits engaging in what some believe is a “religious war”.
Last week, more than 30 people were killed in four communities – Maikori, Dogo Noma, Ungwan Sarki and Sabo Gida – within Kajuru Local Government Area.
The source stressed that the heinous crimes perpetrated in Southern Kaduna have put El-Rufai “in a very bad light”.
“In APC, many Christian chieftains don’t want El-Rufai. If that happens, they’ll be furious and will react by defecting or returning to the PDP”, he declared.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) expects presidential candidates to announce their running mates this week.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said they have until June 17 to tender the names.