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Kaduna Is Home For All Nigerians – El-Rufai

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Kaduna Is Home For All Nigerians – El-Rufai

By Abdullahi Ahmad Bamalli

Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said that apart from the Federal Capital Territory Abuja and Lagos state, there is no other state in Nigeria where every citizen can feel at home like Kaduna state.

The governor who said that he is proud of Kaduna state’s hospitality, further disclosed that; “this is the only state which, in the last seven years, there is no government form that has provision for indigene, or tribe or religion because we don’t think those things matter. What matters is our common humanity.”

El-Rufai who spoke at the opening ceremony of the Kaduna Book and Arts Festival (KABAFEST) last Wednesday, said that; “anyone that chooses to live here, works here and pays his taxes, he is indigenous to Kaduna.”

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He recalled that; “this is what Kaduna was in the beginning. It lost that innocence at some point but I’m happy to see it coming back.”

The governor recalled that the idea for KABAFEST occurred when he went to Abeokuta to attend the Ake Arts and Book Festival, on the invitation of Lola Shoneyin, the founder.

“So, I thought that we needed something like this in Northern Nigeria to provide our artists and creatives with the platform because Abeokuta is very far away from Maiduguri and Sokoto. Kaduna is a little bit closer,” he added.

According to him, discussions began with Lola, a Nigerian writer and poet and founder of Ake Festival and Book Buzz Foundation, which resulted in holding the first edition of KABAFEST in 2017.

El-Rufai disclosed that; “Sterling Bank has been very supportive, many other partners have supported us but at the end of the day, it is the willingness of the participants that have sustained the event.”

“The willingness of people like you from within and outside Nigeria, to come and share your experiences, will inspire our young people to know that this is possible,” he added.

“I am really happy to see many of our young people doing so well in poetry, writing, painting and everything. This is what we hope to achieve,” the governor added.

El-Rufai noted that; “this is the last edition of KABAFEST that I will be attending as a sitting governor. So, it is very important for me to say thank you. Some of you have been attending the event very consistently since 2017.”

The governor promised; “I hope to attend KABAFEST in September 2023. It will be the first time that I will come to Kaduna after I hand over.”

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