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I don’t want to be anyone’s godfather, says El-Rufai

Immediate past Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, says he’s not interested in being seen as a godfather to anyone in Kaduna.

El-Rufai, who was speaking at a Capacity-Enhancement Workshop for Senior Government Officials in Borno State, on Monday, said he had only visited Kaduna five times since he left office almost a year ago.

He said, “I don’t want to be a godfather and that’s why I don’t interfere in what is happening in Kaduna. I want him (the governor) to learn and get the job by himself.

“The leader should get good people to get the job done. Only God can do everything by himself, no matter how good you are as a leader, you can be as effective as people around you and that’s why the saying that no country gets better than the quality of his civil service.”

This is the first time El-Rufai would speak in the public in the past two weeks since the seeming rift between him and his successor, Senator Uba Sani, worsened.

Governor Sani had at a townhall meeting in Kaduna on March 30, 2024, said his administration inherited a huge debt burden of $587 million, N85 billion, and 115 contractual liabilities from the administration of El-Rufai.

He had lamented that due to the rise in the exchange rate, the state was now paying back almost triple of what was borrowed by the government of his predecessor.

Sani who also explained that the huge debt burden was eating deep into the state’s Federal allocation, disclosed that N7bn out of the N10bn Federal allocation for the state in March was deducted to service the state’s debt.

The governor further lamented that the state was left with N3bn, an amount he said was not enough to pay salaries, as the state’s monthly salary bill stood at N5.2 billion.

Although one of El-Rufai’s sons verbally attacked the governor, whom he accused of incompetence, the former governor refrained from public comment.

Meanwhile, the cold war between El-Rufai and his successor, has created a gap in the ruling All Progressives Congress in Kaduna as stakeholders and party supporters are torn between the two camps.

Recently, Aisha Galadima, a female politician and El-Rufai’s ally, who posted a negative social media comment about Governor Sani, was arrested by the Department of State Services.

Galadima was said to have criticised Sani’s last comments against El-Rufai in a post on her Facebook page.

A neighbour said she was arrested in her community in the Tudun Wada area of Kaduna on Sunday afternoon, and another friend stated that Galadima’s phone was switched off after the arrest.

But Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Muhammad Lawal Shehu, said he was not aware of the arrest and directed inquiries about the matter to the DSS for further clarification.

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