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SDP visit: El-Rufai not preparing for 2027 Presidency – spokesman

Ex-Governor Nasir El-Rufai is not running against President Bola Tinubu in 2027, Muyiwa Adekeye, his spokesman, has said.

Since El-Rufai met with Social Democratic Party (SDP) officials under the leadership of Alhaji Shehu Musa Gabam, tongues have been wagging that the former governor was gearing up for 2027 presidency.

The former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was on his way to securing a ministerial appointment in the government of President Bola Tinubu but he was dropped in the dying minute.

Although Tinubu nominated him and he was screened by the senate, the upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly failed to confirm him, citing a security report.

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Subsequently, El-Rufai withdrew interest in the appointment and jetted abroad. He had been living quietly, but the meeting with SDP National Working Committee (NWC) has generated reactions.

In a statement posted on X, Adekeye said, “I consider the most recent speculations about Malam Nasir @elrufai as reflecting an unhealthy obsession with politics. People have personal histories and relationships that predate political affiliations. It cannot be a hallmark of civilisation to have friends from within only your political party. When people visit each other or mingle across party lines, it is because human relationships exist, distinct from the political or the partisan.”

“Malam Nasir @elrufai is a senior member of the APC, one of the signatories to its merger documents, and a significant contributor to the party’s demonstrated viability. These contributions do not require that he treats friends as anathema on account of politics or maintains an antiseptic distance from them.

“Malam Nasir @elrufai hosted some friends to Iftar on Tuesday, 19 March 2024. NSA Nuhu Ribadu was at the Iftar with a senior APC figure like Alh. Kashim Imam. SDP National Chairman Shehu Musa Gabam was among the friends who partook in the Iftar. Gabam was not accused of considering crossing over to the APC on account of that.

“When Malam Nasir @elrufai visited Gabam the next day, he was merely returning a visit to a friend who happens to be SDP chairman. Malam El-Rufai is known for being open and forthright. If he had any political decisions to make, it would not be in character to let them be subject to speculation.

“”Unfounded speculations about Malam Nasir @elrufai have become an industry that has delivered tons of lies and clickbaits in the last 18 years. This is unlikely to abate anytime soon, given the persistent obsession of its purveyors who relish in negativity and their tireless indulgence in conflating assumption with fact. A recent instance was when he visited former presidents late in 2023 to explain his Nigerian governance study book project covering each of their tenures, the speculators said it was about politics! That is why it is sometimes necessary to clarify matters lest the unwary be taken in.”

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