Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has said he will contest in 2023 alongside former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, if President Muhammadu Buhari insists on him doing so.
El-Rufai, Amaechi, Pastor Tunde Bakare and Jimi Lawal, had formed the core of Buhari’s campaign in 2015, and the former Rivers governor, who was said to be one of the major sponsors of the campaign, has remained close to the president since then.
Amaechi who is the current Minister of Transportation is said to be one of Buhari’s top choices for president in 2023.
It is also worth noting that former president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has also been mentioned as being one of Buhari’s candidates.
The irrepressible governor who spoke during an interview with Channels TV on Wednesday, confirmed that Amaechi is interested in running for president.
He added that he has repeatedly said he is not interested in any political position in 2023.
“I have said it over and over but I guess the trust in politicians is very low. Nobody believes me. I have said over and over that I’m not a contestant for any office. I’m not an aspirant for anything,” he said.
“Rotimi Amaechi is interested in running for president. He has the right to do so but I’m not running for anything. I’m not going to be on his ticket.”
When asked of his reply if Buhari directs him to become the running mate to Amaechi, El-Rufai said he will obey if the president insists.
“That is a different conversation. I will have that conversation with the president and explain to him why I don’t think it is a good idea but of course if he insists I will,” he said.
El-Rufai said he is tired of public life, but not tired of serving Nigeria, stressing that he is “physically tired” owing to the works carried out as a governor.
“I’m tired. I’m not tired of serving the nation. I’m just physically tired because I do take my work seriously and in the last seven to eight years, I have worked flat out,” he added.
“I’m not young anymore. I will be 63 next year so I prefer to look at other options to contribute to the development of my country.
“But of course, as you said, I did not want to run for governor, the president insisted that I should run, if the president insists I should do something I have so much regard for him and his judgement that I will do it even reluctantly.”