The crack within the All Progressives Congress (APC) family widened on Wednesday when the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, alleged that some forces in the presidency are working hard to ensure that the ruling party loses the 2023 elections.
The Kaduna helmsman said they were ganging up against the party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The conspirators, according to him, were those whose candidates lost the APC presidential primary but who are still bitter.
Speaking on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television breakfast programme, in Lagos, el-Rufai said the conspirators, whose identities he did not disclose, were aggrieved that Tinubu defeated their candidate in the APC presidential primaries.
He said these elements were hiding behind President Muhammadu Buhari’s desire to do what he thinks is right.
He said, ”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. Their candidate did not win the primaries.
“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 N200 billion 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.”
El-Rufai’s outburst is coming a week after the ruling party’s presidential candidate said there were plans to stop him from winning the election.
Tinubu had said fuel scarcity and naira redesign were targeted at him.