Nasir El-Rufai: Power Players in His Network
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Politics - August 21, 2023

Nasir El-Rufai: Power Players in His Network

Nasir El-Rufai, Former Governor of Kaduna State is an audacious Nigerian politician whose ministerial nomination was not confirmed by the Senate, owing to security reasons.

As one of the co-founders of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress, APC, El-Rufai has occupied various positions in the Nigerian government. These positions made him come in contact with a vast number of politicians, some of which have become notable players in his network.

This article names some of the power players in El-Rufai’s network and examines the roles he has played in their lives. Let’s get in.

Olusegun Obasanjo

El-Rufai was appointed as an economic advisor under the military regime of General Abdulsalami Abubakar in 1998. He worked closely with the International Monetary Fund, IMF, before the military transferred power to Former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999.

Obasanjo who described El-Rufai as one of the best persons to work with because he is a near-genius appointed him as Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprise, (BPE), and later as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) during his administration.

Reports say Nuhu Ribadu, National Security Adviser, described El-Rufai as the “de facto No.2 official” because of his relationship with Obasanjo. It is also believed that El-Rufai enjoyed Obasanjo’s trust and confidence.

Mohammad Sanusi II

Mohammad Sanusi II, former Emir of Kano is another power player in El-Rufai’s network. El-Rufai has been applauded for standing close as a true friend when Sanusi was dethroned by former Kano Governor Abdullahi Ganduje. 

Reports say El-Rufai visited the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN when he was released from detention. El-Rufai also appointed him to the board of Kaduna State’s investment promotion agency and also made him the new chancellor of the Kaduna State University, KASU in 2020. 

Sanusi also described El-Rufai as the first person to show up whenever he was in need of friends and the whole world knows. 

Bola Tinubu

El-Rufai was an unapologetic supporter of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu ahead of the 2023 elections. His support for Tinubu was seen in how he criticised his principal, Former President Muhammadu Buhari, causing a stir in the polity. 

Speaking in an interview, El-Rufai said “I believe in Buhari, I still do and I will never stop, but I no longer believe in the circle around him and the quality of decisions and actions coming out of that leadership.” He also accused Buhari of mishandling terrorism.

El-Rufai’s love for Tinubu was very obvious as many predicted that he was going to play a major role in his administration. But in a sudden twist of fate, El-Rufai who had been promised to man the proposed Ministry of Power and Gas based on his numerous discussions with Tinubu was not confirmed by the Senate.

Newsmen reports that his nomination was overturned as certain elements in the presidential villa may have been threatened by El-Rufai. El-Rufai who has reportedly left the country recently shared a cryptic message on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Sharing the lyrics of Bob Marley’s “Who The Cap Fit” El-Rufai wrote, “Bob Marley of blessed memory is one of the most talented musicians of all time.”

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