Political Intrigue Surrounds Appointment of Nasir El-Rufai as Minister
In a surprising turn of events, the confirmation of former Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai as a minister in the current administration has been suspended.
Insider sources reveal that the decision to halt his confirmation is embroiled in complex political maneuvering involving prominent figures close to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and within the Senate.
Sources suggest that the suspension of El-Rufai’s ministerial appointment stemmed from a security report by the Department of State Security (DSS).
However, emerging reports indicate that high-ranking political figures including Vice President Kashim Shettima, Senate President Godswill Akpabio, Tinubu’s Chief of Staff Femi Gbajabiamila, and National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu are behind this move.
The intricate web of politics appears to be motivated by the anticipation of the post-Tinubu era.
Political heavyweights near the president seem to harbor concerns that a cabinet position for El-Rufai could potentially elevate his political influence in the coming years.
During El-Rufai’s screening before the Senate, a Senator from Kogi State, Sunday Karimi, raised a petition against him that touched on matters of “security, unity, and cohesiveness.”
Notably, this petition was allegedly provided to Senator Karimi by Akpabio on the day of the screening, suggesting orchestrated efforts.
Despite this, Leadership newspaper has uncovered that the letter relied upon by the Senate President to halt the confirmation was signed by Aminu Yusuf, a Director in the office of the Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS).
Sources assert that Ribadu and Gbajabiamila, along with others, influenced this letter to obstruct the confirmation.
Insiders speculate that the trio of Shettima, Ribadu, and Gbajabiamila is apprehensive about El-Rufai’s potential influence, viewing him as a threat to their political aspirations set for 2027 or 2031.
A presidential aide dismissed claims of orchestrated scheming, attributing all actions to the president’s approval.
This aide also stressed that it is unjust to expect responses from these officials regarding allegations made on behalf of El-Rufai.
Outside the government, other forces seem to be pushing this intricate political game. Observers note that President Tinubu could wield considerable influence to secure El-Rufai’s confirmation, similar to what occurred with Festus Keyamo in the past.
Recollections of El-Rufai’s past conflicts with lawmakers during the Obasanjo administration resurface.
These matters were eventually resolved through the intervention of then-President Olusegun Obasanjo, leading to El-Rufai’s clearance by the Senate.
As the intricate political puzzle continues to unravel, the fate of Nasir El-Rufai’s ministerial confirmation remains uncertain, while the underlying motivations and power dynamics take center stage in the Nigerian political arena.