Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, on Saturday, opened up on why he wouldn’t want to be Chief of Staff to Bola Tinubu, Nigeria’s President-elect, saying, he would rather stay committed to contributing to the country’s development through useful counsel.
el-Rufai indicated further that he would also prefer to play big in the private sector in the next 22 days after handing over as governor.
He made this disclosure in an address during the commissioning of the Gombe Geographic Information Systems service centre, after performing the groundbreaking ceremony of 550 Shongo Homes and Gardens under the Family Homes Fund in Gombe State.
el-Rufai said, “I will be leaving in 22 days, but I will be available anytime you need a troublemaker. I will be in the private sector, I’m not going to be any chief of staff. I will take a break and advice people like Governor Inuwa Yahaya if they need it.”
Fielding answers from journalists on why he would not accept the “compensation” to serve despite his support to Tinubu, el-Rufai added, “I have not had the discussion with the president-elect and I don’t want to speculate. I read on the pages of newspapers and I see all kinds of portfolios assigned to me.
“I’m a committed Nigerian and I want to see my country make progress and whatever I can do to contribute to the development I will, but I don’t have to do it working in the government. People working in the private sector or civil society are contributing their own one way or the other, to the growth and development of our country. I will never stop working for Nigeria’s progress.”
The Kaduna State Governor who commended Gombe electorates for massively supporting and voting for Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya back into office, disclosed that the Tinubu team was initially troubled when the President-elect, polled second highest votes in Gombe.
“When the presidential result was announced and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu came second, we were quite worried about the re-election of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, but I was very pleased that the people of Gombe have shown once again that they know how to separate the wheat from the chaff.
“They know those that work for them they know those that promise and break their promises by being strategic and selective in their voting that they returned governor Inuwa Yahaya with overwhelming votes of over 130,000 votes for the election and even increased the number of APC members by two,” el-Rufai remarked.
He assured that Yahaya would do more than he did in his first tenure, stressing that the first term was hectic with its economic challenges; “I want to thank the people of Gombe State for re-electing my brother, my friend, and in-law. I assure you that what you have seen in the last four years is just the beginning because the last four years have been very challenging for anyone in governance.
“In 2020, we had COVID-19, in 2022, the Ukraine war disrupted the global economy which affected our revenues and most states Federal Allocation dropped by about 30 per cent. It was with these challenges that Governor Inuwa Yahaya was able to build the infrastructural and social capital development that you have seen in the last four years. I want to assure you that the next four years will be better because there will be more resources and he has overwhelming support in Gombe State Assembly to do more,” he said.
The governor also commended the traditional institution for the overwhelming collaboration with the security agencies, pointing out that it had impacted the state’s record as one of the safest in the country.
“Far from when Gombe used to be a base for Boko Haram terrorists. Your royal highnesses, we continue to pray for you for God’s guidance, so that you continue to assist the State Government to keep Gombe safe,” he said.
el-Rufai who specifically noted that Inuwa Yahaya standardised the Gombe Geographic Information Systems, lauded, “It’s important to know how much land you have to allow development and increase revenue.”