El-rufai’s Men Rev Up Campaign — Lifestyle News

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  • Posters, souvenirs flood Kaduna
  • Why we’re supporting gov’s ambition– LG chair, others

The popular saying among Nigerians, nay, Africans, that there is no
smoke without fire, may have readily given credence to the current
strong speculations that the governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-rufai
has made up his mind to run for the 2023 presidential election as a
candidate from the north under the ruling All Progressives Congress
(APC).

President Muhammadu Buhari, a northerner, is serving his
second term in office following his victory at the February presidential
election. The latest move by El-rufai, which remains in the background
for now, to take a shot at the presidential race in 2023 may go a long
way to thwart permutations on the return of power to the South after the
North would have had its eight years.

The ‘smoke’ that may have
indicated that there is actually a ‘fire’ somewhere towards the
presidential ambition of El-rufai was further amplified by some youths
in Kaduna State who are believed to be loyal to APC and are already
adorning T-shirts with the inscription, “El-rufai for presidency, 2023”.

The
youths in their numbers, penultimate Monday, stormed Kaduna Government
House, wearing the shirts under El-rufai’s nose to celebrate the
tribunal’s judgement that upheld his governorship election against the
candidate of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Isah Ashiru.

Some
of the youths were seen discussing in groups shortly after the
celebration in the Government House. Also, posters, bearing El-rufai’s
picture for 2023 presidency were earlier sighted on Kaduna streets,
particularly along Gwamna road, in the city centre.

Reacting to
the development, a political analyst in the State who did not want his
name in print noted that, “I don’t see how a volunteer printer in this
hard time will use his or her meagre financial re.s to print
posters and shirts for a politician who is swimming in money. So there
must be an unseen hand funding the project from behind, and very soon
the coast will be clear for all to see the man behind the wheels. Let’s
just wait and see how the event will unfold”.

However, reacting
to the speculation on El-rufai’s ambition, the National Coordinator,
Buhari Mass Movement (BMM) in 2015 election and 2019 re-election of
President Muhammadu Buhari, Alhaji Basheer Garba Umar said El-rufai has
the constitutional right to gun for the country’s number one position if
he so wished.

Umar who also contested Kaduna governorship
elections in 2003 under the platform of National Conscience Party (NCP)
and United Nigeria Peoples Party (UNPP) in 2007 respectively without
success, added that he is ready to support El-rufai for the presidential
race.

According to him, “El-rufai will have my outright support
as I deem him an achiever per excellence and a bridge builder. He is
constitutionally qualified as a Nigerian to contest for the office. He
will be able to muster support in his immediate constituency, North West
and by extension Northern Nigeria. Whoever contests with him will
surely have some headache as he is a strategist and better than others
who feel they can strategize”.

Also, in a recent news item on the
Kaduna State owned radio station, 90.9 FM which was aired on September
17, the chairman, Lere local government area, Alhaji Abubakar Buba said,
“We will do everything possible to make sure that Governor El-rufai
contests the 2023 presidential election”.

“The quality and
leadership style of Governor Nasir El-rufai has started attracting
agitation from individuals and groups calling on him to contest the 2023
presidential election. One of the groups, Nasiriya organisation
inaugurated recently in Kaduna to champion sensitization of the people
on the need to work towards achieving this goal. The national chairman
of the organisation, Garkuwa Ibrahim Buwaya said the decision was
informed by the capability and wisdom of the governor to consolidate on
the achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari after his second term in
office”.

For the Kaduna State Publicity Secretary of People’s
Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Abraham Catoh, “Governor Nasir El-rufai’s
speculated aspiration for the 2023 presidential election is entirely his
personal decision, which is anchored on the 1999 Constitution and it is
also an intra-party affair. In any case, the Peoples Democratic Party,
PDP, is still in court challenging the 2019 presidential elections.

Should the Supreme Court judgement favour the PDP and Atiku Abubakar,
El-rufai and other presidential aspirants would set aside their
aspirations till the end of Atiku’s tenure. The legal battle is still
on, I can’t speak further than this”.

But for the officials of
the State All Progressives Congress (APC), their silence over the
speculation was too loud. Neither the State chairman, Air Commodore
Emmanuel Jakanda (Retd) nor the State Secretary, Yahaya Baba Pate
responded to text messages sent to them by our Correspondent over the
issue.

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