Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state has confirmed the authenticity of a memo he wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari last September recently published by online medium Sahara Reporters.
Mr. El-Rufai had said in his memo that many Nigerians were not happy with the APC administration of Mr. Buhari. He said it was partly because the president had surrounded himself with “clueless” and inexperience persons, such as his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal.
The Kaduna governor, in an exclusive interview with Daily Trust newspaper, however, denied leaking the 30-page memo to the press, saying those who did so had the 2019 election in mind.
He also said he had written several memos to Mr. Buhari in the past.
In the Memo, Mr. El-Rufai told Mr. Buhari that the “APC administration has not only failed to manage expectations of a populace that expected overnight ‘change’ but has failed to deliver even mundane matters of governance outside of our successes in fighting Boko Haram insurgency and corruption”.
He said the overall feeling even among the governing party’s supporters was that the APC government was not doing well.
In the interview published on Sunday, Mr. El-Rufai said, “I have written several memos to the president. This is the first one that has leaked. I can state categorically that I did not leak it. If I did I would say so.
“I wrote the memo, it’s my own, I could make it public if I chose to, but I did not. It was a private communication and I can’t understand the motives of those that leaked it. I don’t know who leaked it. But who knows? In these days of Wikileaks, even if it is in your computer it can be hacked and taken out. I don’t want to speculate on who leaked it or whatever, what I am surprised at is those that are attributing motives to the memo without even reading it”.
Mr. El-Rufai insisted that he had no bad motive in writing the memo and also denied saying the government had failed
“There’s nowhere in the memo that I said the government has failed. It’s our government; if it fails then I have failed too. But there’s a lot going on. We are on the political terrain and I am the target of many people for reasons I may come to know later.
“But anyone that reads that memo will see that I did not intend it to be anything other than a private memo to the president.
“Secondly, my advice or analysis or opinions were based on what I believe to be the truth and what I think will advance the cause of the president. There is nothing in that memo that is advancing the interest of Nasir El-Rufai or even Kaduna State. It’s about Nigeria, the president’s success and our party,” he said.
The Senator representing Kaduna Central in the Senate, Shehu Sani, had called on the leadership of the APC to “punish” Mr. El-Rufai for writing the memo and then leaking it to the media.
Mr. El-Rufai said he knew that he would be “misunderstood” after writing it based on his past experience.
“As I said, I have been with the president since 2010, and anytime I write anything and he discusses it with his inner circle, they always say I am very ambitious.
“I have always been accused of having presidential ambition since 2007. I have suffered from these accusations. The late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua exiled me because of it; former President Goodluck Jonathan tried to imprison me because everyone around him told him to keep me busy or I would contest against you in 2015,” he said.