After falling Out from Ministerial Screening, El-Rufa’i Backs Off

The immediate past governor of Kaduna State, Nasiru El-Rufa’i has withdrawn his interest to work with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as a minister after senate failed to confirm him.

The former governor, instead nominated his political ally, Jafaru Sani.

Presidency sources told PREMIUM TIMES El-Rufa’i disclosed his withdrawal to President Tinubu during a meeting on Tuesday.

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Even though he would not serve as minister, the former governor said he would continue to contribute his quota toward the success of Tinubu’s administration, adding he would also continue with his doctorate degree overseas.

“He also told the president that he needed time to focus on his doctorate programme at a university in The Netherlands,” one of the sources said.

El-Rufa’i further extolled his political ally he had suggested, saying he has the capacity to serve the president well, having served as commissioner in three different ministries — Education, Local Government and Environment — during his eight years tenure as Kaduna state governor.

WikkiTimes had earlier reported that the Senate withheld El-Rufa’i’s confirmation alongside former senator from Taraba, Sani Danladi, and a nominee from Delta State, Stella Okotete, citing security reports from the State Security Service for the action.

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Tinubu had during the meeting told the former governor that he received some petitions critical of his ministerial nomination. He subsequently asked for 24 hours grace to review the petitions and the SSS report sent to the senate to enable him to reach a decision.

But El-Rufai responded that he was no longer interested in the ministerial appointment.

It would be recalled that El-Rufai had disclosed during his confirmation hearing on 1 August that Tinubu asked him to work with him on the power problem facing the country.

According to him, the president had given a target of seven years for Nigeria to stop experiencing power outages in the country.

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According to the sources, at the Tuesday meeting El-Rufai reportedly told the president that since he would no longer be in the federal executive council, he would return the next day with his team to present the preliminary work done so far on the energy sector.

The team that accompanied the former governor to make presentations to the president on Wednesday includes Eyo Ekpo, a former commissioner at the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC); Hafiz Bayero, a former commissioner and administrator of the Kaduna Capital Territory Authority; Tolu Oyekan of the Boston Consulting Group and Ayodele Oni, a lawyer.

El-Rufai who is studying for a doctorate in public policy at the United Nations University, Maastricht, had while preparing to leave office in May this year indicated interest to exit public life and concentrate on his PhD programme.


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