Some “elements” in the Presidential Villa want the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, to lose the 25 February election, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has said.
Mr El-Rufai, who spoke on Wednesday morning on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme, said those people backed a different aspirant in the APC presidential primaries but the aspirant did not win the ticket.
The governor said the unnamed people are now hiding behind President Muhammadu Buhari to pursue their interests.
“I believe there are elements in the villa 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,” he said.
Citing the issues of petrol subsidy and the recent redesign of the naira by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr El-Rufai said 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.
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“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,” Mr El-Rufai said.
While campaigning at a rally in Ogun State last week, Mr Tinubu had also said the scarcity of petrol and new naira notes was aimed at frustrating his presidential bid.
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