El-Rufai Is Divisive; He’ll Set President Tinubu Against Vice President Shettima, Says Shehu Sani

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Sani who spoke while featuring on a Channels TV programme on Saturday prophesied that El-Rufai would cause conflict between Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima as he allegedly did during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Former Nigerian lawmaker and social critic, Senator Shehu Sani, has said that President Bola Tinubu invited trouble to his government by bringing Nasir El-Rufai into his administration as a minister.

Sani who spoke while featuring on a Channels TV programme on Saturday prophesied that El-Rufai would cause conflict between Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima as he allegedly did during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Referring to the antecedent of the former governor of Kaduna State, the political activist and rights advocate described El-Rufai as the most religious intolerant Nigerian, who will not stop at anything to achieve his religious agenda.

Scrutinising Tinubu’s ministerial nominees’ list, the former senator who represented Kaduna Central Senatorial district, said: “I have seen people that are undeserving to even contemplate them being ministers and particularly is the former Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai.

“Unfortunately, President Tinubu will pick El-Rufai and I don’t know for any reason why he should do that. And I have my point and I believe that if President Tinubu is listening to me or any person, a friend, a supporter, or a fan who is close, I will make some prophecies about what is going to happen with El-Rufai in this government in the next few years. 

“First of all, if you are nominating El-Rufai based on integrity and transparency and you said maybe you shouldn’t appoint or nominate former Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje on the issues of allegations that have been online over time, and he (El-Rufai) too has allegations against him, because there has been an outstanding issue of N32 billion federal government property against El-Rufai, which issue is now in court.”

Sani explained that his trial was stalled in 2015 after he was elected governor of Kaduna State, adding, “That issue is there before Justice Binta Nyako in the Federal High Court.”

“Secondly, this government has run under the ticket of Muslim-Muslim ticket and it has been doing everything possible to appease and please the Christian population in this country that the government is not about theocracy.” “That’s not about Islamisation and is not about any religious agenda but simply a political strategy to win an election but here you are enlisting and employing a man who has by his record and by his antecedent and his conduct and utterances; has appeared to be most intolerant Nigerian in the history of this country.”

Citing a recent viral video where El-Rufai made a cynical statement about the Muslim-Muslim government in the country, Sani asked why President Tinubu appointed El-Rufai as a minister.

 “A video has been in circulation where this person has made a statement on religious agenda in this country and by that, he has irritated and triggered a national conversation as long as this issue of government is concerned and now you are bringing him close to you.

“But for all I know there are many people who have supported and worked for Tinubu and Tinubu has been reputed to have always selected the best from his state and has been able to make a record out of that. 

“So it was expected that the list of ministers that he is going to present before the country should take cognizance of the time that this has lasted and that they are going to be any of these two first of all is going to be a clear break from the past and secondly, there should be men of integrity, honour, and competency.”

Asked if it looks like a break from the past, Sani said, “It is not a break from the past because El-Rufai served as a minister under the Obasanjo administration and I believe he also served as a governor. Is there no person in this country that is qualified enough from Kaduna State to be appointed minister?”

On whether El-Rufai can do well in Tinubu’s government, Sani said, “Obasanjo and Tinubu are two different people and there are many things that happened under Obasanjo regime and I believe Tinubu is simply inviting trouble and danger to himself by inviting El-Rufai to his government. 

He said, “Take for example, this El-Rufai in Tinubu’s Government I know there are three things that are going to happen; first of all, he will plot against Shettima and he is going to plant discord between Tinubu and Shettima. He has a track record of doing that: he did that between Atiku and Obasanjo. El-Rufai was at the centre of what happened between Obasanjo and Atiku Abubakar. 

“Secondly, El-Rufai will not limit himself to the ministry. If you set him to works, aviation, or power, he will not limit himself to his ministry, he will meddle in every ministry in government and he did that. When he was the FCT minister, he fought Kema Chikwe, who was Minister of Aviation, he fought Adamu Bello who was Minister of Agriculture.”

Sani added that El-Rufai also fought the head of service in the Obasanjo government. 

“He made sure there was no Minister of State at the FCT and FCT was dissolved and he became the sole minister. He set Obasanjo against the National Assembly; that happened. 

“In Tinubu’s government, it is going to repeat itself. He is going to set Tinubu against Shettima. A leopard never changes its spots and colours, El-Rufai is still the same person.”

He added, “If a man who is over 60 can make a religious utterance that is inflammable, that can burn down and tear this country apart and the man is 60, what will you not expect him to do?”

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