Southern Kaduna, largely populated by Christians has always had a love-hate relationship with the Northern Kaduna in the State, especially the Zaria emirate. Apart from the delicate issue of religion, there was also the small issue of resource allocation and location of government projects and government institutions. Most of the important government institutions that should come to Kaduna State goes to the Zaria emirate. Most of the leaders appointed from the state also go to the same area and the Christian-populated Southern part of the state are not treated as minorities, it is rubbed in with each and every election and appointment.
Kaduna Polytechnic, Ahmadu Bello University, Command and Staff College, Kaduna Refinery, Kaduna State University are just a few of such institutions that are located outside of Southern Kaduna. Based on this, the people had developed a thick skin to the issues of equality and they see the average Zaria man as another opportunist coming to them only during the elections and dumping them thereafter.
Like many other minorities in most states, they never produced a governor of the state until ex-Gov. Yakowa had to step in after Sambo was made Vice President by GOODLUCK Jonathan in 2010.
Even then, the circumstances of his death further heightened the believe that the Hausa-Fulani and other groups in the state do not in any way love them.
After picking his deputy from Southern Kaduna, it took a lot of pressure on Governor El Rufai before he could make further appointments from Southern Kaduna consisting of 5 local governments. At a point, there were hues and cries that no commissioner or permanent secretary was from that zone.
Because El RUFAI operates with a fixated mindset, he has seen the people, like every other Zaria man sees them, as quarrelsome and always disgruntled. Meanwhile, they also saw in him the average Zaria man, pompous and over bearing who believes he knows it all. To say that El RUFAI did not know much about the politics of Kaduna before he came out to contest for the governorship is an understatement. The governor, till then, saw Kaduna just like any other state without its own peculiarities. While Makarfi, Sambo and Yakowa, and his successor were able to tame the crisis between the Fulanis and the Christians in Southern Kaduna, El RUFAI did not consult the interest groups such as SOKAPU which has a strong hold on the people. Rather, his approach has been to keep apportioning blames to the leaders of the people as if they are an area under conquest.
He did not help matters with his decisions on banning the holding of crusades and religious outreaches in the state which they saw as being targeted at Christians.
Based on all these, the Southern Kaduna elements out of government saw him as the main threat to the peace that had existed in the state before he came to power. They easily point to the fact that he neither listens to or respects their leaders and at any point, gets the leaders arrested under the slightest pretext in a bid to cut them to size.