Osinbajo not among ‘presidency elements’ against APC, Tinubu — El-Rufai

Governor Rafiu El-Rufai, welcoming Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, to Kaduna State... File photo

By Emmanuel Babafemi

Governor Nasir El-Rufai has exonerated Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, from those he alleged to be working against the victory of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in the coming presidential election.

El-Rufai, clarifying in an interview granted Arise TV, in a viral video which circulated on Friday, February 3, 2023, said against insinuations in certain quarters, those he referred to were certain northerners like President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he said failed in their bid to make another northern succeed the President.

He said those “elements” had made efforts to present certain aspirants to contest in the June 2022 presidential primaries of the party so they can field a candidate to succeed President Buhari, but after they lost out, they began to work against the success of the party in the coming polls, noting categorically that VP Osinbajo was not part of them.

“This thought, this thinking to change the currency is designed just to bring a serious bottleneck that will affect the outcome of the election because these same people wanted President Buhari to be succeeded by someone else, and that person did not win an election and that person is not the Vice President, because I saw some reports in the newspapers…,” El-Rufai said.

Kaduna State governor, had, on Wednesday, February 1, 2023, alleged that some “elements” in the Presidential Villa want the APC and Tinubu, to lose the February 25 election, speaking on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily programme.

He alleged that those he referred to had sponsored a different aspirant in the APC presidential primaries but the aspirant did not win the ticket, but El-Rufai, who did not mention their names said they were only hiding behind President Muhammadu Buhari to pursue their interests.

“I believe there are elements in the villa who want us to lose the election because they didn’t get their way; they had their candidate. Their candidate did not win the primaries.

“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,” El-Rufai said.

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Justifying his claims, the governor cited issues such as the petrol subsidy and the recent redesign of the naira by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), saying, the President had the right to make the change to the national currency but “it does not make any political or economic sense.”

“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 subsidies? 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 example 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 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 were stashing away illicit funds. It is a very good intention. The president has his right. But doing it at this time within the allotted time does not make any political or economic sense,” El-Rufai said.