‘El-Rufai Loses Interest In President Tinubu’s Ministerial Appointment, Recommends Replacement


Nasir El-Rufai, the former Governor of Kaduna State, has reportedly withdrawn his desire for a ministerial appointment under President Bola Tinubu. It is reported that El-Rufai’s interest waned following a meeting held at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday.

Notably, El-Rufai’s enthusiasm for joining President Tinubu’s cabinet diminished after discussions in the wake of the Senate’s confirmation of 45 ministerial nominees, a process that took a week of screening and evaluation.

However, while others secured confirmation, his approval, along with two other nominees, Sani Danladi, a former senator from Taraba, and Stella Okotete from Delta State, was withheld by the upper legislative chamber due to security concerns raised by the State Security Service.

According to a reliable source within the presidency, speaking to PREMIUM TIMES, El-Rufai conveyed to President Tinubu his decision to no longer pursue a ministerial role due to his ongoing pursuit of a doctorate program. He expressed his intention to channel his efforts towards contributing to Nigeria’s progress as a private individual.

This decision, it is reported, stemmed from his commitment to a doctorate program in public policy at the United Nations University in Maastricht, The Netherlands.

In the course of the meeting, El-Rufai reportedly suggested a potential replacement for the ministerial position from Kaduna State, nominating Jafaru Ibrahim Sani as a candidate he believed would be valuable and resourceful to the President’s administration.

During the same meeting, President Tinubu disclosed that he had received petitions challenging El-Rufai’s suitability for the ministerial role. In response, the President requested a 24-hour grace period to review the petitions and the State Security Service report that was submitted to the Senate. However, it was at this juncture that El-Rufai communicated his change of heart about the ministerial position. He explained that his decision was motivated by the perception that certain elements surrounding the President were actively trying to impede his appointment as a federal minister.

As a reminder, during his confirmation hearing on August 1, El-Rufai revealed that President Tinubu had tasked him with collaborating on resolving Nigeria’s power challenges. The President had set a target of seven years for the country to eliminate power outages.

Regarding the developments discussed during the Tuesday meeting, El-Rufai purportedly conveyed to President Tinubu that, given his decision to no longer pursue a role in the federal executive council, he and his team would return to present the preliminary findings of their work on the energy sector.

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