Gov El Rufai
Gov El Rufai

Barely 100 days in office, Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state is fast squandering the huge goodwill that brought him to office. From some harsh policies to
the hijacking of the party structure, the governor is already on a collision course with party members writes BASHIR BELLO
ALL SEEM not to be well with
the Kaduna State chapter of the
All Progressives Congress, APC
as things have fallen apart in the
party, but yet party members
pretend that all is well with the
party in the state.
In the build up to the 2015
general elections, the APC
secretariat in Kaduna State
along Ahmadu Bello Way was
a beehive of political activities
signaling that the party was on
ground and ready for the battle
to wrestle power from the then
ruling party, Peoples Democratic
Party, PDP in the state.
Elections are over and the APC
are in power in the state but the
situation seemed not to remain
the same with the party as its
secretariat is under lock due to
so many abnormalities that had
gone wrong or are still going
wrong and no party member
wants to be the first to raise the
Shortly before the primaries
that saw the emergence of Nasir
Ahmad El-Rufai as the party’s
flag bearer, a party member and
a gubernatorial aspirant who
contested against El-Rufai in the
primaries, Salihu Lukman had
accused El-Rufai of running the
affairs of the party as a personal
Salihu at that time had accused
the El-Rufai group of producing
the party’s chairman and
the secretary purely because
according to him, “they wanted
to produce El-Rufai as the
gubernatorial candidate of the
party in the state.”
The then state party chairman,
Bala Bantex, was later nominated
as el-Rufai’s running mate and
today the deputy governor of the
The grouse of the many APC
members is that el-Rufai as
governor has nominated most of
his key men he planted as party
officials into his cabinet, leaving
the party bare, but would still
not allow others to reorganize
the party.
For instance, while the
chairman is his deputy governor now, the state secretary,
Muhammad Bashir Saidu is
now the commissioner Local
Government and Chieftaincy
Affairs, while Wing Major Yahaya
Shinkon, another party official has
been appointed into the Interim
Management Committee of
Kaduna South local government.
The party is bare.
El-Rufai before the election was the Deputy National Secretary
of APC and when at the national
convention, Kaduna was to produce
deputy national organizing
secretary, El-Rufai submitted the
name of his then campaign director,
Suleiman Hunkuyi, an attempt
which some of the party members
then protested that it was a move
to amass power all to himself in the
state. Ever since
his people
have been
into various
p o s i t i o n ,
none of
them have
t h e i r
pos i t i o n s
in the party
as it is been
said that
the Deputy
B a r n a b a s
Bala Bantex
still wants to
be the party
chairman in
the state.
El-Rufai has hijacked the party
structure in the state.
Giving credence to this
development, a party chieftain in
the state, Alhaji Zubairu Shan’una
described the situation the party
found itself as unfortunate.
“Could you imagine that the
deputy governor of the state still
holds his position of the party
chairman in the state? Where is the
justice here? “Also the party state secretary
is now a commissioner in the
state cabinet and none of them
have relinquished their position
and you call this justice.
“Many of the party chieftains
seem to be quiet because they
are either scared of being
sidelined by the state governor
or something else. But I can
assure you that all is not well in
the party since El-Rufai became
the governor,” he said.
He said about seven positions
have been made vacant in the
party including the position of
the chairman and secretary.
“Chairman, secretary, PRO,
financial secretary, auditor,
assistant legal officer assistant
auditor and ex-officio are all
vacant due to appointments by
“We do not know if there
would be a special congress to
elect new leaders of the party in
the state. We cannot continue this
way. As far as we are concerned,
the position of the chairman and
secretary should be vacant since
they are now holding positions
in the state cabinet,” he said.
On whether the governor
has hijacked the party, Alhaji
Zubairu Shan’una said “of
course that is how it looks like
because now the party chairman
is still the deputy governor. The
position of the chairman and
secretary should be vacant since
they now hold positions in the
state cabinet,” he said.
On whether there are plans
afoot to elect new leaders in
the state, he said “well, I don’t
know because nothing seems
to be working in the party for
now. But I can assure you that
whether they like it or not we
must conduct our party congress
when the time comes and that
will be when the governor will
realize his mistakes.”
According to him, majority
of core politicians that worked
for the governor during
his campaign are feeling
disappointed with the situation
on ground and none is being carried along.
“At least, those who worked
for the party deserve to be carried
along but for the party secretariat
be deserted is not
good for the party
and its members,”
he said.
He said so
far most of the
party members
particularly those
at the top positions
are not happy
with the governor
because of the way
and manner the
party is being run
in the state.
It is reliably
gathered that all
party affairs have
been shifted from
the party secretariat
to the governor’s
campaign office
along Isa Kaita area,
Kaduna North local government.
A security guard, who simply
identified himself as Suleiman
working at the party secretariat said
“they don’t seat here. If you want to
see them you will have to go to El-
Rufai’s campaign office along Isa
Kaita road. That is where they seat
and meet. They don’t come here
for anything. The office has been
dormant and not functional since
after the elections.”
Party faithful are literarily
gnashing their teeth and perhaps
ruing their personal investments
in the emergence of el-Rufai as
governor. The governor is said not
be in talking terms with many of
those party big wigs who made his
election possible. Such persons Isah
Ashiru Kudan and Salihu Lukman
are said to be in the governor’s bad
He is also said to have snubbed
AVM Ajeye among others who
were said to have used their
resources to help in convincing
people in Southern Kaduna. The
governor’s relationship with
his close allies such as Senator
Hunkuyi Othman and the owner
of Liberty TV and Radio, Alhaji
Tijjani Ramalan has gone sour.
This according to close sources is
not unconnected to the governor’s
appointments so far made in the
state as the appointments did
not go down well with the party
Lukman at the interview he
granted to Nigerian Pilot way
before the party primaries
forewarned of the danger ahead if
the party gave el-Rufai the ticket.
He then said, “if El-Rufai does not
reform and we make the mistake
to entrust him with superior power
of government, it will be a big
problem because he can use that
power negatively.
“If today he is deploying his
little influence negatively, to cause
disharmony, if he gets the power
of government he can become a
dictator. We are just emerging from
such military experiences and we
cannot recklessly go back to that.
I believe he can change and as a
person, he is an asset but for us to
get the part of him that is an asset
we must engage him to reform
like issue of relationship becomes
fundamental,” Lukman warned
Already, due to the high
handedness of the governor in
running the party in the state,
there palpable fears in state over
the forthcoming local government
elections and the chances of the
Meanwhile, one would have
expected that the party intervened
in the current face-off between
Governor El-Rufai and Senator
Shehu Sani representing Kaduna
Central at the Senate, but the
question is who does that when
the party with its manifesto is
in disarray? The anger of the
Senator Sani and many others
like him stem from the fact of the
governor’s false steps so far and
his inhuman policies.
APC in Kaduna State appears
to have gone to bed after winning
the elections in the state instead of
restrategizing on how to ensure
party and its candidates deliver
on its campaign promises to the
people who voted them into

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