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Presidency: El-Rufai alleges Aso Rock ‘elements’ working against Tinubu

Indications that all might not be well within the All Progressives Congress (APC) fold, assumed a new dimension yesterday as Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, alleged that some elements in Aso Rock Villa were working against the presidential candidate of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to lose the forthcoming presidential election.

The governor who said this on Sunrise Daily, a Current Affairs Programme on Channels Television, disclosed that the same elements were out to frustrate the efforts of the APC flag bearer because they didn’t get their way at the primary election as their candidate lost at that level. “Their candidate did not win in the primary.

They are trying to get us to lose the election and they are hiding behind the president’s desire to do what he thinks is right. “I will give two examples: this petroleum subsidy, which is costing the country trillions of Naira, was something that we all agreed would be removed. In fact, I had a discussion with the President and showed him why it had to go. Because how can you have a capital budget of N200 billion for federal roads and then spend N2 trillion on petroleum subsidy? This was a conversation I had with the President in 2021 when the subsidy thing started rising. He was convinced. We left. It changed. Everyone in the government agreed, and it changed.

“The second issue I will give is this currency redesign. You have to understand the President. People are blaming the Governor of the Central Bank for the currency redesign, but No. You have to go back and look at the first outing of President Muhammadu Buhari as President. He did this – the Buhari/Idiagbon regime changed our currency and did it in secrecy with a view to catching those that are stashing away illicit funds. It is a very good intention. “The President has his rights. But doing it at this time within the allotted time does not make any political or economic sense.”

The APC presidential candidate at a rally in Ogun State last week had alleged that the biting fuel scarcity and new naira redesign issues were aimed at sabotaging his electoral victory, but vowed that he would still triumph. However, in a swift reaction to the latest allegations, the APC’s Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) has thrown its weight behind el-Rufai but absolved President Buhari of any blame on the activities of the fifth columnists in Aso Rock. Director of Communications, Media and Public Affairs of the PCC, Mr. Dele Alake said that there was really nothing spectacular about what el-Rufai has said as the handwriting on the wall was clear to any discerning mind.

“It’s even self-explanatory. He did say that to some people but he never said the President. In any organisation including your own individual media houses, you have editorial policies, and there are elements within your organisation that won’t agree with those policies. Yet, they still work there. “It is therefore not a spectacular thing. It is merely a natural phenomenon. In all organisations and institutions, you cannot have 100 per cent of the operatives see issues exactly the same way. However, it is the preponderance of views that matter. Now in terms of the presidency, who is the power base? Of course, it is the Commander in Chief. He holds all the aces.

We do not expect that he would actually see all his staff eye to eye. But they’re still there. “Again, you also need perspectives from various angles. That is why we even say even our own principal, Bola Tinubu, one of his strengths is to accommodate dissenting views within his own milieu. I have a personal experience of this and I continue to have it. We argue a great deal when we sit down to strategise and plan policies. “Asiwaju is one leader, from my experience, who has a very large heart, whose horizon is so wide, who is so accommodating of opposing views with a view to reaching a logical conclusion from which germane policies are made.

An example of that is what we have in Lagos today. “For Nasir el-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, to state the obvious is nothing for us to clear again. We know that mischief makers, especially from the opposition, will latch on it and twist it out of context. That has always been the way of the opposition that we are contending with in Nigeria today. I made bold to say and you can quote me. The PDP opposition that we have today has been conducting the most pernicious, divisive, abusive, ineffective and most irresponsible campaign in the history of this country. They have no issues, no track record, no nothing. No record of performance to put before the Nigerian voters. What then do they do? They resort to personal abuses, issue fabricated and fake stories to denigrate our presidential candidate. That is also because they have no track record of performance to push out to the public,” Alake said.

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