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UPDATED: El-Rufai: If Buhari doesn’t run in 2019, he’ll tell us whom to vote for

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Nasir el-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, says that his group, the “Buharists”, will ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari runs for the presidency in 2019.

El-Rufai said this while fielding questions from journalists on Friday.

He was reacting to the comments by Aisha Al-Hassan, Minister of Women Affairs, that she would support Atiku Abubakar, rather than Buhari come 2019 general election, especially as Buhari had told her in the past that he would only seek a single tenure in office.

“We have a group of Buharists among governors, ministers,” el-Rufai said.

“Our Group wants to ensure that President Buhari runs in 2019. And if he chooses not to run, he will tell us which direction to go and we will go.

“We are Buharists. We don’t have any personal ambition. We don’t have any personal aspiration. And we are waiting for him to decide. And every political effort we are making, every structure we are creating is towards that end.”

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El-Rufai maintained that Alhassan’s comments were inconsequential, as she hadn’t even played any important role in the Buhari administration.

He said he was not surprised at Alhassan’s comments because she neither supported Buhari nor his ideologies, but it is left for Buhari to either sack or retain her.

“If Jumai Alhassan is performing as Minister of Women Affairs and is adding values to the government and the people of Nigeria, it is the President’s prerogative to retain her in spite of her political views,” he said.

“But if she is not adding value, in spite of her political views, she can be dispensed with. That’s the President’s decision.

“Her comments are not surprising; she has never been a supporter; she has never believed in the Buhari ideology, so I’m not surprised.

“As a Nigerian, as an individual, she has every right to express her views and support whoever she wants but what I’m saying is that Nigerians should not be surprised or shocked.

“This has always been her position because from time she has never supported Buharism or what Buhari stands for.

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“But being part of the Buhari government is a different thing because government sets policies and if you are a minister, you execute the policy. You can execute those policies while pursuing a different brand of politics, and it is okay. There’s no problem with that.”

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