The immediate past governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai, has reportedly withdrawn his interest in being part of President Bola Tinubu’s cabinet.
Premium Times reports that E-Rufai told President Tinubu at a meeting on Tuesday, August 8, that he was no longer interested in becoming a minister but would continue to contribute his quota to the development of Nigeria as a private citizen.
“He also told the president that he needed time to focus on his doctorate programme at a university in The Netherlands,” one of our sources said
Another insider was quoted as saying that the former governor suggested a new ministerial nominee, Jafaru Ibrahim Sani, for Kaduna State, saying the President would find him very useful and resourceful. Sani served as commissioner in three ministries in Kaduna State (Local Government Education and Environment) while Mr El-Rufai was governor.
Recall that El-Rufai visited the President at the presidential villa a day after the Senate confirmed 45 ministerial nominees after a week-long screening of 48 of them.The lawmakers however withheld his confirmation and those of two others, citing security reports from the State Security Service for the action.
The two others were a former senator from Taraba, Sani Danladi, and a nominee from Delta State, Stella Okotete.
According to the report, El-Rufai, who only returned to Nigeria from London on Monday, sought and got an appointment to meet the president after the Senate’s action.
At the meeting on Tuesday afternoon, President Tinubu, according to the publication, told the former governor he received some petitions critical of his ministerial nomination.
The president then asked for 24 hours grace to review the petitions and the SSS report to the Senate to enable him to reach a decision. It was at that point that El-Rufai reportedly mentioned that he was no longer interested in being minister since it appeared some forces around the president were scheming intensely to block his emergence as federal minister.
El-Rufai had disclosed during his confirmation hearing on August 1 that President 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.
At the Tuesday meeting, Mr El-Rufai also 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.