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‘I don’t care’, El-Rufai damns consequences of meeting SDP officials

Former Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has damned the consequences of meeting with officials of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Daily Trust had reported…

Former Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has damned the consequences of meeting with officials of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

Daily Trust had reported how the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain exchanged banters with officials of the opposition party.

The party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Shehu Musa Gabam, had earlier visited El-Rufai at his Abuja residence.

Later, the SDP National Working Committee (NWC) officials received El-Rufai at the party’s secretariat.

PHOTOS: El-Rufai returns to political limelight, visits SDP national secretariat

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During the visit, Gabam reportedly noted El-Rufai’s rich and remarkable political pedigree, saying he is a friend and respected national figure.

“This is a welcome development that concerned Nigerians are cross-fertilizing ideas on how to salvage the nation’s present unpleasant socio-economic challenges of the times. The prevailing circumstance calls for bi-partisan and robust collaborations that transcend ethnic and religious lines to address the nation’s woes and find sustainable ways to redeem the situation,” Gabam was quoted to have said at the meeting.

He also said to achieve the needed transformation in the country, Nigerians need a leader like El-Rufai whom he said has a high political pedigree.

However, in one of the videos of the visit, someone was heard at the background telling the photographer not to upload the photos and video on X, but El-Rufai responded, saying, “Let them upload it; I don’t care.”

The former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was on his way to securing a ministerial appointment in the government of President Bola Tinubu but he was dropped in the dying minute.

Although Tinubu nominated him and he was screened by the senate, the upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly failed to confirm him, citing a security report.

Subsequently, the former minister went abroad and literarily withdrew from politics.

However, he returned to the country and continued  his life quietly.

Wednesday’s visit to SDP has sparked rumours on El-Rufai’s interest in contesting the 2027 presidency against Tinubu.

El-Rufai not running against Tinubu’

But Muyiwa Adekeye, the former governor’s media aide, has denied that his principal is gearing to square up with Tinubu.

In a statement posted on X, Adekeye said, “I consider the most recent speculations about Malam Nasir @elrufai as reflecting an unhealthy obsession with politics. People have personal histories and relationships that predate political affiliations. It cannot be a hallmark of civilisation to have friends from within only your political party. When people visit each other or mingle across party lines, it is because human relationships exist, distinct from the political or the partisan.”

“Malam Nasir @elrufai is a senior member of the APC, one of the signatories to its merger documents, and a significant contributor to the party’s demonstrated viability. These contributions do not require that he treats friends as anathema on account of politics or maintains an antiseptic distance from them.

“Malam Nasir @elrufai hosted some friends to Iftar on Tuesday, 19 March 2024. NSA Nuhu Ribadu was at the Iftar with a senior APC figure like Alh. Kashim Imam. SDP National Chairman Shehu Musa Gabam was among the friends who partook in the Iftar. Gabam was not accused of considering crossing over to the APC on account of that.

“When Malam Nasir @elrufai visited Gabam the next day, he was merely returning a visit to a friend who happens to be SDP chairman. Malam El-Rufai is known for being open and forthright. If he had any political decisions to make, it would not be in character to let them be subject to speculation.

“”Unfounded speculations about Malam Nasir @elrufai have become an industry that has delivered tons of lies and clickbaits in the last 18 years. This is unlikely to abate anytime soon, given the persistent obsession of its purveyors who relish in negativity and their tireless indulgence in conflating assumption with fact. A recent instance was when he visited former presidents late in 2023 to explain his Nigerian governance study book project covering each of their tenures, the speculators said it was about politics! That is why it is sometimes necessary to clarify matters lest the unwary be taken in.”

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