The Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take steps to sideline some persons he referred to as “overambitious All Progressives Congress [APC] members” ahead of 2023 general elections.
Governor El-Rufai made the call while speaking in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Saturday, during an interactive session with members of The Bridge Club, made up mainly of businessmen and captains of industries.
Speaking, El-Rufai blamed APC internal crisis in the build-up to the 2019 general elections on the desperation of some party members.
He said the party members are positioning themselves ahead of the 2023 presidential election to take over from Buhari when he was due to complete his second tenure.
El-Rufai regretted that the APC lost some states to the opposition on account of the inordinate ambitions of those members.
He argued that it was wrong for the APC members to be scheming ahead of 2023, when President Buhari’s second term had not even taken off.
He asked Buhari to be firm and deal decisively with those ambitious members who might make his second term in office difficult for him.
He said, “There were a lot of internal crises in the APC; those crises had nothing to do with the 2019 elections; they were all about positioning for 2023.
“You know politicians can be very strategic; as illiterate as some of them can be, they are very strategic, they can think far ahead of you.
“So, those 2023 aspirations had been busy at work, creating pockets of support that had unintended consequences.
“I can mention a few states that we lost because of these kinds of aspirations. Some of the things led to unintended consequences and we paid for it.
“It is my view that President Muhammadu Buhari must be firm and decisive in dealing with these overambitious elements that will make his second term difficult from day one unless curtailed.
“The President has to be very decisive in dealing with such people.”
Political pundits are already analyzing that he was expressly referring to the APC national leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
An analyst told ElombahNews:
“The message is very clear, only that as usual, the owner of Lagos to whom the message is directed will still not get it.”
Also speaking at the occasion, El-Rufai asked Lagosians to end Godfatherism at any cost in the state.
He said he defeated and retired four political godfathers in Kaduna State, saying the feat could be replicated anywhere, including Lagos State.
El-Rufai argued that godfathers existed only on paper or in the minds of the people, saying the key to defeating them was in going directly to the people.
He, however, admitted that defeating godfathers required time and hard work.
Tinubu has been touted as the most powerful godfather in Lagos politics, appointing and removing governors who failed to do his bidding.
The most recent example was Governor Akinwunmi Ambode whom Tinubu warned not to even contest the party’s primary election in October last year.