Former Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has withdrawn his interest from being part of President Bola Tinubu’s cabinet.
PREMIUM TIMES reports that in a meeting with the president on Tuesday, El-Rufai said he was no longer interested in becoming a minister but would continue to contribute to Nigeria’s development as a private citizen.
He also told the president that he needed time to focus on his doctorate programme at a university in The Netherlands.
El-Rufai suggested Jafaru Ibrahim Sani as his replacement for the Kaduna State ministerial slot.
Sani served as commissioner in three ministries in Kaduna State while El-Rufai was governor.
The Senate had withheld El-Rufai’s confirmation and those of two others, citing security reports from the State Security Service. The other two nominees were Sani Danladi, a former senator from Taraba, and Stella Okotete from Delta State.
At the meeting with the president, El-Rufai said he was aware of the Senate’s decision and had sought an appointment with the president to discuss it.
President Tinubu told El-Rufai that he had received some petitions critical of his ministerial nomination. He asked for 24 hours to review the petitions and the SSS report to the Senate before making a decision.
It was at that point that El-Rufai said he was no longer interested in being minister since it appeared some forces around the president were scheming to block his emergence as a federal minister.
El-Rufai had disclosed during his confirmation hearing on August 1 that President Tinubu had asked him to work on the power problem facing the country. The president had given a target of seven years for Nigeria to stop experiencing power outages.
At the Tuesday meeting, El-Rufai also reportedly told the president that since he would no longer be in the federal executive council, he would return the next day with his team to present the preliminary work done so far on the energy sector.