Nasir El-Rufai, former governor of Kaduna State, has jetted out of the country after withdrawing his interest in ministerial appointment, Daily Trust can confirm.
A credible source told Daily Trust that El-Rufai was off to Europe, but will be in Egypt first.
The senate had last week approved the appointment of 45 out of the 48 ministerial nominees submitted by President Bola Tinubu.
El-Rufai, and two other nominees; Stella Okotete (Delta) and Danladi Abubakar (Taraba) were not confirmed as the senate said they were awaiting security clearance about them.
Daily Trust had reported how Sunday Karimi, senator representing Kogi west, presented a petition against el-Rufai during his screening last week.
The former governor met with Tinubu at the presidential villa in Abuja, on Tuesday, but the outcome of the meeting was not made public.
But Premium Times quoted presidency sources as saying El-Rufai told President Tinubu that he was no longer interested in becoming a minister, but would continue to contribute his quota to the development of Nigeria as a private citizen.
“He also told the president that he needed time to focus on his doctorate programme at a university in The Netherlands,” the online newspaper quoted another source to have said.
Another source was quoted as saying the former governor suggested a new ministerial nominee — Jafaru Ibrahim Sani — for Kaduna.
El-Rufai also reportedly told the President that since he would no longer be in the federal executive council, he would return the next day with his team to present the preliminary work done so far on the energy sector.
The online platform said the team that accompanied the former governor to make presentations to the president on Wednesday includes Eyo Ekpo, a former commissioner at the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC); Hafiz Bayero, a former commissioner and administrator of the Kaduna Capital Territory Authority; Tolu Oyekan of the Boston Consulting Group and Ayodele Oni, a lawyer.
When contacted, Muyiwa Adekeye, spokesman of El-Rufai, did not respond to comment.