Rejected Ministerial Nominee, El-Rufai Withdraws Interest, Suggests A Replacement

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After being rejected by the Senate, former Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has informed President Bola Tinubu that he’s no longer interested in being a minister in his cabinet.

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Quoting known sources, Premium Times reported that the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory informed the president on Tuesday during his visit alongside former Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

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Reports had said Wike was at the presidential villa to make a case for El-Rufai.

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While no details was provided during the visit, it has emerged that shaken by the Senate rejection on account of “dirty” petitions which bordered on national security, the former Minister has informed the president of his withdrawal not without pledging his loyalty and readiness to contribute to his administration but from the sideline.

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“He also told the president that he needed time to focus on his doctorate programme at a university in The Netherlands,” the paper quoted a source.

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In his place, the report said El-Rufai suggested a new ministerial nominee in the person of Jafaru Ibrahim Sani, Kaduna State, who he had appointed as a commissioner during his time as Governor.

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Sani had served in three ministries namely Local Government, Education and Environment and is held in high esteem by El-Rufai, sources close to the former governor have said.

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Alongside El-Rufai, the two other nominees that were rejected were Sani Danladi, Taraba, and Stella Okotete, Delta.

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According to the report, President Tinubu had asked for a 24-hour grace to consider the security report before making a final decision but the former governor informed the president of his decision not to join his cabinet any longer.

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He however reportedly returned to the president alongside 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, to present his vision for the power sector reform where he was supposed to be assigned.

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The report also said the Special Adviser to the President on Energy Matters, Olu Verheijen, joined El-Rufai to make a presentation on Gas.

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A senator explained that “all the senators including the three senators from Kaduna State were unanimous in rejecting El-Rufai.”

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El-Rufai has not publicly addressed the issue as he left the country immediately he ran into trouble during the screening and confirmation hearing and only returned to inform the president of his withdrawal from his cabinet.

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