Running mate: How Buhari helped me pick Hadiza Balarabe out of 32 candidates – El-Rufai

Kaduna State Governor Nasiru El-Rufai said on Tuesday that he picked Dr. Hadiza Balarabe out of 32 candidates, as his running mate for the 2019 poll.
The governor disclosed this while receiving the people of Sanga local government of the state who came on a thank you visit to the governor.
He said when the current deputy, Yusuf Bala opted last year to run for the Senate in 2019, he was thrown into a dilemma as to who he will pick to run with him.
He said 32 persons were penciled down initially and after rigourous sorting, it was narrowed down to 12 later 7 and later 5.
The governor said when the list was pruned down to five that he took it to President Muhammadu Buhari to help him decide.
“The president then told me that since I have included women in the list I should give them priority and that was how we arrived at Dr. Balarabe.
“But the president also asked me how old she was and I said I did not know because among the documents I had her age was not there.
“The president then said he hopes Dr. Balarabe is neither a Fulani nor Hausa like me and I said I do not know her ethnic group but I told him she’s related to one of his aides, Alhaji Maikano, then he said if that is the case then she’s Numana,” the governor said.
Governor El-Rufai said the next challenge for him was how to get Dr. Balarabe’s number and that it was his third wife that gave it to him after he made some calls.
“When I called her she said she was in Kenya, I told her I just came out of the president’s office and he has affirmed that you should be my running mate in the 2019 elections and I asked her whether she accepts.
“She did not give an answer immediately but she called me back after some minutes and said she’d accepted,” he said.
He said those that are criticizing the choice of Dr. Balarabe are those who would never have voted for him in the first place and said she was not appointed based on her religious beliefs.