Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said some Aso Villa Elements around President Muhammadu Buhari are working against the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Bola Tinubu in the general election.
El-Rufai, who spoke on Channels Television, alleged that there are some elements in Presidential Villa that are behind plots for the APC to lose the election because their preferred aspirant did not win the party’s presidential ticket.
The claim by El-Rufai comes barely a week after Tinubu alleged that the petrol queues and scarcity of Naira notes due to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cash swap initiatives were plots against his ambition.
“I believe there are elements in the villa that want us to lose the election because they didn’t get their way. They had their candidate but their candidate didn’t win the primary election,” El-Rufai said.
“I think they are still trying to get us to lose the election and they are hiding behind the president’s desire to do what he thinks is right.”
The Kaduna State governor insisted that the ‘elements’ are behind the non-removal of petrol subsidy after he had a conversation with Buhari where it was agreed that subsidy should be removed.
El-Rufai noted that the same Aso Rock ‘elements’ are allegedly behind the faulty implementation of Naira notes swap introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“They are trying to get us to lose the election, and they are hiding behind the president’s desire to do what he thinks is right. I will give two examples: this petroleum subsidy, which is costing the country trillions of Naira, was something that we all agreed would be removed.
“In fact, I had a discussion with the president and showed him why it had to go. Because how can you have a capital budget of N200b for federal roads and then spend N2 Trillion on petroleum subsidy? This was a conversation I had with the president in 2021 when the subsidy thing started rising. He was convinced. We left. It changed. Everyone in the government agreed, and it changed.
“The second example I will give is this currency redesign. You have to understand the president. People are blaming the Governor of the Central Bank for the currency redesign, but No. You have to go back and look at the first outing of Buhari as president. He did this; the Buhari, Idiagbon regime changed our currency and did it in secrecy with a view to catching those that are stashing away illicit funds.
“It is a very good intention. The president has his right. But doing it at this time within the allotted time does not make any political or economic sense.”