GOVERNOR Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State appears to have thrown his weight behind transport minister Rotimi Amaechi as his preferred presidential candidate in what is seen as a big blow to former Lagos State governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Three days ago, Kaduna State delegates had endorsed Asiwaju Tinubu and pledged their votes to him bit yesterday, however, things appeared to change when Mr Amaechi visited Kaduna. During the visit, the All Progressives Congress (APC) delegates changed their minds after Governor El-Rufai presented a convincing argument on why President Muhammadu Buhari loves Mr Amaechi.
Governor El-Rufai said: “He made the sacrifice to move to our party. It was a game-changer and this is part of the reason President Buhari loves minister Amaechi till tomorrow.”
In the speech, Governor El-Rufai poked a hole in the narrative that President Buhari emerged because of the alliance with Asiwaju Tinubu. He stated that it was the defection of Rotimi Amaechi and the other four governors from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that changed the game for the APC in 2015.
To give it more effect, Governor El-Rufai used Mr Amaechi’s traditional title bestowed on him by the Emirate of Daura, Dan Amanar. This latest development is seen as part of the ongoing spat between Asiwaju Tinubu and Governor El-Rufai as in Segun Adeniyi’s book titled Against the Run of Play, Asiwaju Tinubu blamed El-Rufai, Bukola Saraki and others for blocking his path towards accessing the presidency.
In 2023, Governor El-Rufai again poked Asiwaju Tinubu when he spoke at an event in Ikoyi, Lagos State in which he detailed how to defeat a godfather. He said: I don’t know if he (Tinubu) is the godfather of Lagos but what I know for sure is that we have retired godfathers and if anyone feels offended by that, that’s his business.”