- The Kaduna state governor - Nasir El-Rufai has said that his refusal to appoint Senator Shehu Sani's candidates as commissioners is a major cause of friction between himself and the lawmaker
- El-Rufai says the candidates sent by Senator Sani were dropped because they lacked necessary academic competence and capacity to function as commissioners
- The governor says he has no personal grudge against Senator Shehu Sani
- Governor El-Rufai further reveals the Sani wanted to unseat him as governor of the state
El-Rufai has disclosed that his refusal to appoint as commissioners, any of the people Senator Shehu Sani sent to him in 2015 triggered the anger and media outbursts he has suffered in the hands of the lawmaker.
El-rufai said this in a chat with the Nation in Kaduna.
He said that the nominees Sani sent to him for appointment were dropped because of lack of necessary academic competence and capacity to function as commissioners and not out of vendetta because Sani defeated his own candidate during the APC primaries.
The governor also said that Sani’s opinion that he (El-rufai) masterminded the disciplinary action meted on him by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for publicly criticizing President Muhammadu Buhari contributed to further fan the Senator’s anger towards him.
He added that the Senator had a history of activism and that was why he depends so strongly on the media for support in his protests and criticism.
The governor hinted that Sani had plans of unseating him as governor in 2019 but declared he was battle-ready for any opposition whether from the Senator, other contenders within the APC fold in the state, or from the opposition political parties.
He said: “Shehu Sani’s first anger was that the list of commissioners came out and none from his list. In a state where there are about 10,000 PhDs that I have in my data base; I am not going to take a diploma holder and make him a commissioner just because he is Shehu Sani’s man. I don’t operate like that.
“He contested the APC primary and defeated the candidate that I supported (General Sani Saleh), and after the primaries.
“I don’t owe Shehu Sani anything. I asked all of them including Shehu Sani, to give me names of people that I will appoint to positions. They gave me, and I looked at them, and none of the people from Shehu’s list is good enough to be a commissioner in my cabinet.
“Because of the things he has been doing, criticizing the president, saying all sorts of things about me, the party disciplinary process was initiated against him, but he blames it on me. He thinks I engineered it. But, frankly, I don’t care about Shehu Sani.
“Shehu Sani’s history is that he is an activist, of some type and it is up to you to determine the adjective.
“I think the problem is that because Shehu Sani’s mind is that of an activist, he thinks that the way to position himself…he thinks politics is being in the media all the time. Activism is different from politics. Sometimes in politics, you don’t want your name in the media, but activists’ oxygen is the media, and he thinks that the way to remain visible and prepare him for running for governor of Kaduna State in 2019 is to criticise everything I do.
“I don’t think he is a threat to me politically or in any way. In 2018, when the whistle is blown we will see who has support on the ground in Kaduna.”
Meanwhile, Governor El-Rufai has insisted that he has no apology offering to pay aggrieved Fulani herdsmen money as that is the main solution to the problem in southern Kaduna.
The governor came under serious criticism when he said his administration traced some foreign killer herdsmen and offered to pay them money to embrace peace.
In an interview on Channels television monitored by NAIJ.com, the Kaduna governor said his statement was misconstrued by some people that he paid herdsmen to kill Christians while in reality, he was only looking for a way to achieve peace.
He noted that the former governor of the state, Patrick Yakowa also followed a similar path when he offered to pay compensation to herdsmen who lost relatives or cattle after the post-election violence in 2011.
He said: The Agwai report established that most of the attacks in southern Kaduna were traced to forewing Fulani herdsmen. The former governor Patrick Yakowa also reached out to the foreign herdsmen.