Nasir El-Rufai Withdraws Interest in Tinubu’s Ministerial Appointment

Former Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has recently decided to withdraw his aspiration for a ministerial appointment under President Bola Tinubu. This change of heart occurred following a meeting at the Presidential Villa, which took place on Tuesday.

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El-Rufai’s interest in being part of President Tinubu’s cabinet waned after the Senate’s confirmation of 45 ministerial nominees, an event that followed an extensive week-long screening and approval process.

In this context, it’s important to recall that El-Rufai’s visit to the President took place soon after the Senate confirmed the ministerial nominees.

The confirmation, however, didn’t include his name, along with two other nominees: Sani Danladi, a former senator from Taraba, and Stella Okotete, a nominee from Delta State.

The Senate’s decision was based on security reports from the State Security Service, which prompted them to withhold the confirmation of these three individuals.

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Shift in Priorities and a New Direction

According to sources close to the presidency, El-Rufai communicated his change of heart to President Tinubu during their meeting.

He cited his ongoing doctorate program as a primary reason for his withdrawal from consideration for the ministerial position.

Currently enrolled in a doctorate in public policy at the United Nations University, Maastricht, El-Rufai expressed his intention to focus on his academic pursuits.

Despite no longer pursuing a role in the federal executive council, he conveyed his commitment to contribute to Nigeria’s development as a private citizen.

A New Recommendation and Petitions in the Mix

Within the same meeting, El-Rufai offered a recommendation for a new ministerial nominee from Kaduna State.

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He introduced Jafaru Ibrahim Sani as a potential candidate, suggesting that he could be valuable and resourceful to the President’s cabinet.

Concurrently, President Tinubu addressed the existence of petitions that raised concerns about El-Rufai’s nomination.

Requesting an additional 24 hours to review these petitions alongside the State Security Service report, the President aimed to make an informed decision.

Shifting Dynamics and a Decision Made

At this juncture, El-Rufai expressed a noticeable change in his stance.

He conveyed to the President that his interest in becoming a federal minister had dwindled, attributing this shift to the perception that certain influential figures around the President were actively maneuvering to obstruct his appointment.

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This sentiment marks a significant pivot from El-Rufai’s earlier confirmation hearing on August 1st, during which he disclosed that President Tinubu had invited him to collaborate on resolving Nigeria’s power challenges.

The President had set a goal of eradicating power outages within seven years.

Continuing Engagement in the Energy Sector

During the Tuesday meeting, El-Rufai also shared his intentions to maintain his involvement in the energy sector despite his decision to withdraw from the ministerial candidacy.

He conveyed his plan to return with his team and present the preliminary work they had accomplished thus far in addressing the energy sector’s issues.

This declaration underscores El-Rufai’s commitment to contribute to the nation’s progress in a different capacity.

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In conclusion, Nasir El-Rufai’s withdrawal from the race for a ministerial appointment under President Tinubu comes as a result of a series of developments and shifting priorities.

From his academic pursuits to his observation of political dynamics, these factors collectively influenced his decision to opt for a different path while continuing to contribute to Nigeria’s advancement.

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