Former Governor of Katsina State, Nasir El-Rufai, is reportedly set to reject the ministerial appointment from President Bola Tinubu.
Recall that President Tinubu had sent the names of El-Rufai and 47 others to the National Assembly for screening and confirmation as ministers.
However, the former Kaduna governor and Stella Okotete were not cleared by the Senate due to allegations levelled against them, while Umar Danladi was not cleared because of a Supreme Court ruling barring him from holding office for ten years.
It is understood that El-Rufai and the other two nominees would have to get security clearance before they are called back to the Senate for confirmation.
But according to Peoples Gazette, El-Rufai will turn down the ministerial appointment even if his security clearance ultimately goes through for Senate confirmation.
Sources told the news platform that El-Rufai was angry by the hold on his senatorial screening and confirmation that appeared to cast a shadow on his security status as a prominent Nigerian politician.
One of the sources, who craved anonymity, said the former Kaduna governor believes that the Senate would eventually receive a green light from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and subsequently confirm him.
The source disclosed that El-Rufai has decided to wait until his confirmation before announcing his desire not to serve in the Bola Tinubu cabinet.
“There is nothing new about being a minister to him anymore since he has done it before, so he would turn down the position after security clearance,” the source said.
According to the source, the reason El-Rufai decided to turn down the appointment was to show Nigerians that there were no justifiable grounds for the outcome of his security assessment to be placed on hold.
The source said the decision of the former governor came despite the relentless efforts of his closest friends to initiate a meeting with the NSA, Nuhu Ribadu, to resolve any outstanding issues.
He stated that El-Rufai insisted that he won’t be meeting Ribadu because he strongly believed the NSA lacked the requisite political stature to unilaterally withhold a ministerial nomination.
He said: “His Excellency Nasir El-Rufai is a man of conviction, and he has made it clear that he won’t be meeting Nuhu Ribadu to lobby him for security clearance.
“In fact, he was supposed to be in Abuja on Wednesday for a meeting with the NSA but he vigorously turned it down.”
Another source said: “Whatever Nuhu Ribadu might be doing, he won’t be able to do it without the president’s prior knowledge.
“So that is why he would wait until he finally gets confirmed before pulling out of the cabinet.“