In a recent turn of events, further details have emerged shedding light on the collapse of a perceived pact between President Bola Tinubu and former Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. The pact, which aimed to secure El-Rufai a ministerial role within the yet-to-be-formed Federal Executive Council, apparently crumbled due to a web of complexities surrounding power, gas, and political rivalries.
Investigations by Saturday PUNCH delved into the intricacies that led to the crumbling of the arrangement, revealing that El-Rufai’s envisioned role was to oversee the proposed Ministry of Power and Gas. This role was purportedly a result of extensive discussions between El-Rufai and President Tinubu, centered around the pressing need for sustained and uninterrupted power supply in the nation.
During the presidential campaign, El-Rufai had expressed his desire to lead a quiet life abroad. However, his stance shifted after winning the election and engaging in in-depth conversations with the President. It was during these conversations that El-Rufai emphasized the significance of including gas in the Ministry of Power, highlighting its critical role in achieving consistent power supply for the country.
Sources, who requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the discussions, disclosed that El-Rufai had formed a group of experts dedicated to realizing the goal of uninterrupted power. This group included notable figures such as Jimi Lawal, Olu Verheijen, Eyo Ekpo, and Tolu Oyekan, all of whom contributed their expertise towards crafting strategies for achieving the President’s key electoral promise.
However, despite these earnest efforts, the agreement encountered roadblocks, some of which were believed to be political maneuverings within the presidential circle. Insiders revealed that certain elements within the administration might have perceived El-Rufai as a potential threat to their political aspirations. This perspective reportedly extended to political rivals such as Senator Shehu Sani, factions of the Christian Association of Nigeria, and even certain Muslim clerics.
It is worth noting that El-Rufai had a history of confrontation with federal lawmakers during the tenure of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. At that time, he had accused some lawmakers of soliciting bribes, although the matter was later resolved and he was cleared by the Senate. This history might have influenced the hesitance within the presidential circle to endorse his proposed ministerial role.
The initial plan put forth by El-Rufai encompassed the incorporation of gas into the Ministry of Power, alongside the establishment of a National Energy Council. This envisioned council would comprise ministers responsible for finance, environment, energy, justice, and the National Security Adviser’s office. Despite the promise and potential of these proposals, the agreement between El-Rufai and President Tinubu eventually faltered under the weight of political considerations and rivalry.
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