Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has said “elements” in the Presidential Villa are seeking the defeat of the ruling All Progressives Congress in this month’s poll.
El-Rufai who made the disclosure during a live appearance on Channels Television Sunrise Daily on Wednesday said, “I believe that there are elements in the Villa that want us to lose the elections because they didn’t get their way.
“They had their candidate; their candidate didn’t win the primaries and I think they are still trying to get us to lose the elections and they are hiding behind the President’s desire to do what he thinks is right.”
A former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, emerged the winner of June 8, 2022, APC presidential primary, with the former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo coming a distant second and third, respectively.
Buttressing his argument, the Kaduna governor cited the seemingly belated removal of fuel subsidy as well as the current naira redesign and cash swap policy implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“This petroleum subsidy which is costing the country trillions of naira was something that we all agreed should be removed. In fact, I had a discussion with the President and showed him why it had to go.
“How can you have a capital budget of 200 billion [naira] for federal roads and then spend two trillion on subsidy? This was a conversation I had with the President in 2021 when the subsidy started rising. He was convinced. We left; it changed. Everyone in the government agreed.
“The second example I would give is this currency redesign. You have to understand the President. People are blaming the governor of the Central Bank for the currency redesign.
“No, you have to go back and look at the President’s first outing as president. He did this,” El-Rufai said.
He noted that the military government of President Muhammadu Buhari between 1983 and 1985 also changed the Nigerian currency and did so in secret with a view to catching those that stashed away illicit funds.
But the governor admitted that the timing of the policy leaves the APC vulnerable ahead of the forthcoming elections.
“It’s a very good intention – very clear intention. The President’s heart is white. But doing it at this time within the time allotted just doesn’t make any political [or] economic sense.
“And for such a programme to work, we have to be involved as governors, as sub nationals,” he said.