New details have emerged shedding light on the breakdown of the anticipated agreement between President Bola Tinubu and former Kaduna State governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, which would have positioned the latter as a minister in the impending Federal Executive Council.
Investigations by Saturday PUNCH have revealed that El-Rufai’s aspirations were centered around leading the proposed Ministry of Power and Gas, an idea that stemmed from extensive discussions with President Tinubu. The focus of their talks revolved around achieving uninterrupted power supply in the country within a span of a few years….CONTINUE READING
Sources have indicated that El-Rufai initially expressed a desire to live a quiet life abroad during the presidential campaign. However, after winning the election, intensive conversations with the President led to a change of heart. El-Rufai’s vision encompassed the incorporation of gas into the Ministry of Power, highlighting its essential role in ensuring consistent power supply.
To realize this vision, El-Rufai assembled a team of experts, including Jimi Lawal, Olu Verheijen, Eyo Ekpo, and Tolu Oyekan. This group of specialists began advising the President on strategies to fulfill his promise of delivering uninterrupted power.
Sources suggest that multiple factors contributed to the delay in El-Rufai’s confirmation. It’s believed that certain elements within the government viewed El-Rufai as a potential threat due to his influence and capabilities. Allegations of political maneuvering involving Senator Shehu Sani, the Christian Association of Nigeria, and certain Muslim clerics are reportedly part of the challenge. Additionally, concerns about El-Rufai’s prior issues with federal lawmakers during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo may have played a role in his delayed clearance.
The relationship between President Tinubu and El-Rufai initially remained strong, owing to the latter’s stance during the crisis preceding the All Progressives Congress presidential primary. This bond initially allowed Tinubu to overlook security concerns related to El-Rufai.
Despite the endorsement and consultations, the Department of State Services (DSS) raised concerns about El-Rufai’s security clearance. An official letter from the DSS recommended delaying El-Rufai’s Senate clearance until issues of concern were addressed. While the exact details of the issues remain undisclosed, the DSS’s caution prompted speculation about the viability of El-Rufai’s ministerial appointment.
Recent unconfirmed reports suggest that El-Rufai may have withdrawn his interest in becoming a minister. Sources suggest that he conveyed his decision during a meeting with President Tinubu and Nyesom Wike, a former governor of Rivers State. El-Rufai allegedly cited his commitment to a doctorate program abroad as the reason for his withdrawal.
As the intricate web of political negotiations continues to unfold, questions linger about the future of the proposed Ministry of Power and Gas and the broader dynamics shaping Nigeria’s political landscape….CONTINUE READING