Faced with the prospect of life outside the corridors of power, Nasir El-Rufai, the ex-Governor of Kaduna State, is applying pressure on influential figures in a bid to secure a ministerial position in President Bola Tinubu’s administration. Despite initially signalling a lack of interest in the role, El-Rufai has reportedly sought the advocacy of traditional and religious leaders to facilitate his nomination for ministerial confirmation in the Senate.
Prominent among those El-Rufai is soliciting is the former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II. Last week, Sanusi met with President Tinubu, requesting the resubmission of El-Rufai’s name to the Senate for ministerial confirmation. He urged Tinubu to overlook opposition from certain figures within the Presidency, including the National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.El-Rufai’s renewed ambition comes in the wake of the Senate’s previous rejection of his nomination due to security concerns and other allegations.
Before Sanusi agreed to intervene, another source averred, the former Emir cautioned the loquacious ex-governor and advised him to desist from making public comments on controversial issues so as to see if President Tinubu would assist in confirming his ministerial nomination.
“You made a mistake when you rejected the ministerial nomination and made it public that day. You must keep quiet henceforth and allow me to talk to the president on the matter,” Sanusi was quoted to have told remorseful el-Rufai.
The ex-governor, feeling publicly embarrassed, briefly left the country and did not attend his son’s wedding. Sanusi suggested to Tinubu that El-Rufai’s initial rejection of the ministerial nomination was a result of his public humiliation.
El-Rufai’s determination to secure a ministerial position may also be linked to scrutiny over his previous administration’s handling of over 300 abandoned projects in Kaduna State. As Kaduna struggles with financial woes partly attributed to El-Rufai’s tenure, an appointment into power might provide him with a necessary lifeline.
Source: New Era