President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s search for a new minister continues as former Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufa’i, withdraws his interest from joining the president’s cabinet.
El-Rufai was among three ministerial nominees whose confirmations were held back by the Senate. Out of the 48 ministerial nominations forwarded to the Senate by Tinubu, 45 have been cleared and assigned portfolios.
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While the reasons for withholding confirmation for the other two nominees were somewhat clear, El-Rufai’s situation has been mired in speculations. Allegations against him range from his handling of conflicts during his governorship to allegations of corruption and betrayal.
In a surprising turn of events on August 8, 2023, El-Rufai informed President Tinubu that he no longer aspired to be a minister. He expressed his commitment to contribute to Nigeria’s development as a private citizen and focus on his doctorate program in the Netherlands.
El-Rufai suggested a new nominee, Jafaru Ibrahim Sani, for the position from Kaduna State, citing Sani’s experience as a commissioner during El-Rufai’s tenure as governor.
During their meeting, El-Rufai informed Tinubu about his decision, hinting at potential opposition within the president’s circles to his ministerial appointment. This led to El-Rufai’s withdrawal from the ministerial race.
El-Rufai had previously mentioned that Tinubu had tasked him with addressing the nation’s power crisis. However, his nomination faced obstacles, and it remains unclear why it was blocked.
As El-Rufai shifts his focus to his doctoral studies and private contributions, the search for a suitable minister continues. The intricacies of this political drama leave many questions unanswered.