Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai has said governors and ministers under the All Progressives Congress (APC) want President Muhammadu Buhari to contest the 2019 presidential election.
El-Rufa’i said this while speaking with State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday.
He said the governors and ministers made the decision as members of the “Buharist Group”.
The reiterated that he was planning to contest the Presidency in 2019, as widely reported.
According to him, as a member of the “Buharist group’’ he has no presidential ambition.
“My name has continuously been mentioned as a Presidential aspirant since 2007 after my years in the FCT, there is nothing new about that.
“What I want to say here very, very clearly is that I have never been a Presidential aspirant, I have never even been a gubernatorial aspirant.
“I am governor today by the grace of God because President Buhari called me and said go and run for Governor of Kaduna state.
“As far as 2019 is concerned, my position is the President (Muhammadu Buhari) is looking very well, he is recuperating very fast. My hope and prayer is he will contest in 2019,’’ he said.
On the recent political comments attributed to the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Aisha Alhassan, El-Rufai said she was never in the Buhari camp.
“This has always been her position because from time she has never supported Buharism or what Buhari stands for.
“Being part of Buhari government is a different thing because government sets policies and if you are a minister you execute the policies. You can execute those policies while pursuing a different brand of politics,’’ he said.
He added, “Look, you can retain a person in the cabinet even if he doesn’t support you if he adds value to the country. Because this is a government, it is not a political group fighting for some political progress.
“If Jummai Alhassan is coming as Minister of Women Affairs and adding value to the government and the people of Nigeria it is the President’s prerogative to retain her in spite of her political views.
“But if she is not adding value in spite of her political views she can be dispensed with…… people shouldn’t get worried about it. I have worked closely with the President, I know him and I know how he thinks. He doesn’t take these things personally…. What is primary to him is Nigeria’s progress… that is what matters ultimately.”