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El-Rufai withdraws interest in Tinubu's ministerial job to further education abroad

El-Rufai cited his commitment to a doctorate program at a university in The Netherlands as a primary reason for his withdrawal from the cabinet candidacy.

President Bola Tinubu and Nasiru El-Rufai [Twitter:@BashirElRufai]

During a meeting held on Tuesday, August 08, 2023, between El-Rufai and President Tinubu, the former governor conveyed his decision to no longer pursue a ministerial position, clarifying that he intends to contribute to the development of Nigeria as a private citizen. In a report by Premium Times, El-Rufai also cited his ongoing commitment to a doctorate program at a university in The Netherlands as a primary reason for his withdrawal from the cabinet candidacy.

El-Rufai took the opportunity to propose Jafaru Ibrahim Sani as a suitable replacement for the Kaduna State ministerial slot. Sani, who served as a commissioner in various ministries within Kaduna State during El-Rufai's tenure as governor, has been put forward as a competent candidate by the former governor.

It is worth noting that El-Rufai's ministerial confirmation had faced some obstacles, with the Senate withholding his confirmation, along with those of two other nominees, based on security reports from the State Security Service (SSS). The other nominees were Sani Danladi, a former senator from Taraba, and Stella Okotete from Delta State.

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During the meeting with President Tinubu, El-Rufai acknowledged his awareness of the Senate's decision and expressed his intention to discuss the matter with the president.

President Tinubu, on his part, informed El-Rufai that he had received petitions critical of the former governor's ministerial nomination. He requested a 24-hour window to review these petitions, as well as the SSS report submitted to the Senate, before making a final decision.

At this juncture, El-Rufai raised concerns about the emergence of potential hindrances orchestrated by certain individuals around the president that could block his path to becoming a federal minister. This realisation led him to firmly declare his withdrawal from the ministerial pursuit.

It is noteworthy that during El-Rufai's confirmation hearing on August 1, he disclosed that President Tinubu had assigned him the task of addressing Nigeria's power challenges. The president had set a seven-year target to resolve the persistent issue of power outages in the country.

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