El-Rufai may resign, lobbies for Chief of Staff to President Buhari

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This may sound strange! There are indications that Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State may have been working on a political calculus to sacrifice the office of the governor for a return to the federal government in forthcoming dispensation. The governor, who was a Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the Obasanjo administration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was said to be aspiring for the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari to restore himself to a higher level of power which he was said to believe resides with the federal government.

This political calculation was said to be part of the lobby and negotiations going on in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for federal appointments in the second term of President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

National Daily inquiry unveils that some of the party members have been working and lobbying for unusual appointments that would send other members trembling when concluded. One such is the tentative lobby for the Chief of Staff to the President which a source linked the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, as a front liner.

Presidency source disclosed that Governor El-Rufai has been allegedly lobbying for the appointment of Chief of Staff to President Buhari in the second phase of the APC government which would commence on the inauguration of the president on May 29, 2019. The source indicated that the Kaduna State governor is willing to resign from office in the state for the federal appointment.

The governor was said to have started the alleged lobby and negotiation before the 2019 general elections. The plan for the appointment was said to be the reason Governor El-Rufai insisted on a Muslim-Muslim ticket of APC in the governorship election in Kaduna State. Our source noted that the governor planned it in such a way that when he succeeds in the appointment, his successor would be a Muslim who will then appoint a Christian deputy governor afterwards.

President Buhari was said to be purportedly aware of the plan; he was said to be silence on the controversy over the Muslim-Muslim governorship ticket of the APC in the Kaduna State because of the ongoing negotiation which purportedly started then.

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National Daily further gathered that the Kaduna State governor is curious for the federal executive where he perceives power is stronger in the mainstream body politic of Nigeria than the component units. Our source added that the governor is calculating to secure the Chief of Staff appointment to position himself for the 2023 presidential election. The position, our source said, is considered stronger in co-opting a state actor to the hegemonic oligarchy influencing the allocation of government patronage or decisions of power ‘allocation’ to stakeholders in the country. “The Chief of Staff position is, therefore, considered stronger to give the aspirant stronger influence in federal decisions,” our source stated.

The governor was said to be using his closeness and unalloyed support to the president right from the Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) to strengthen his alleged lobby for the appointment.

He was alleged to be deepening his lobby by reaching out to some influential persons around the president to take the job from the incumbent Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, in the new dispensation. However, Kyari was said not to be folding his hands to retain his job.

Meanwhile, President Buhari, our source said, had to proceed on a short vacation to London the United Kingdom (UK), on Thursday to minimize pressures of lobbyists for appointments in the next cabinet and in the presidency. It was said that while all the incumbent appointees in the president, including the federal cabinet, anticipate continuing, those outside are jostling to take up some of the appointments.

One of the outgoing APC governors was also said to be aspiring for the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). National Daily will bring details on this in subsequent reports or updates on the struggle for federal appointments in the ruling APC.

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