The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES, said some non-state actors have their eyes on an interim government as an outcome of the ongoing presidential election process.
The governor spoke about the people and forces he characterised as elements whose patterns and conducts are consistent with plans to subvert or topple a civilian-to-civilian transition after the next presidential election.
“It turned out that some of the wildest stories of conspiracy to derail the transition at best for APC to lose, preferably for the whole system to result in no election leading to an interim arrangement began to rear their heads,” Mr El-Rufai told PREMIUM TIMES.
He came short of naming these “elements” who he insists are not worth the conventional Nigerian appellation of a political cabal.
The notion of a powerful cabal, according to Mr El-Rufai, admits a level of sophistication and discipline, which the group around President Muhammadu Buhari lacks.
“I have no problem naming them. I’m not afraid of anybody. But for me, naming them is giving them traction. They are nothing. They are not capable of winning elections. They have no idea of electoral or political legitimacy. They can only hide behind the likes of President Buhari to achieve their objectives,” he noted.
The Kaduna State governor also took time to address contentious issues around President Buhari and the All Progressive Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
When asked about the mixed signal perceived from the president’s lukewarm attitude to Mr Tinubu’s campaigns, he insisted there are no mixed signals.
“President Buhari considers the APC like a child he conceived and held in pregnancy for 18 months and gave birth to. He will never, I am ready to stake my neck and my life, President Buhari will never work against the APC. He will never work against the candidate of the APC even if the candidate is the devil himself,” Mr El-Rufai said.
He insisted that the president is “a party man and an establishment person whose support for Mr Tinubu is sure.”
He went further to paint a picture and illustrate the operational mode of some disgruntled power-hungry cliques within the party that he admitted was hurting the party.
“What is happening is that there are people around the president that had their presidential candidates. They had two candidates that they preferred to succeed Buhari – Godwin Emefiele from the South and Ahmad Lawan from the north – and they got neither.”
Mr Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had purchased the APC presidential form but could not contest in the primaries following public outcry. Many Nigerians had called for his removal as CBN chief for taking part in partisan politics.
Mr Lawan, the current senate president, took part in the primaries but came fourth behind Mr Tinubu, ex-transport minister Rotimi Amaechi and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
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