by Simon Ateba,
The Deputy Publicity Secretary of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Timi Frank warned in a statement on Saturday that the party should not allow Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state to replace President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
Frank warned that el-Rufai was trying to manipulate President Buhari into endorsing him should the President decide not to run, particularly because of his poor health.
He said recent claims by el-Rufai that President Buhari should seek re-election in 2019 were suspicious and deceitful. Their real intention, he added, was to position himself as President Buhari’s replacement in 2019.
Frank warned the ruling APC to block the Governor of Kaduna state, saying he has “record of betraying all his benefactors”.
Frank’s statement on Saturday morning came after it emerged that Mr. Buhari and his aides had reportedly met with Mr. el-Rufai to plan the re-election of Mr. Buhari in 2019.
The APC Deputy Publicity Secretary also reacted to the position of Governor el-rufai over comments attributed to the Women Affairs Minister Aisha Jummai Alhassan.
Frank said what Madam Taraba (as she is also known) said was out of conscience, honesty and not disrespect for President Buhari. He said she did not mean any arm.
Frank said President Buhari “is a man of the people. The President knows people who are truly his own and when people are talking of loyalty, El-rufai should keep quite because he is not known to be one. A serial betrayal like this governor has no record of loyalty to anybody.”
On the claim by Mr. El-rufai that his group was asking President Buhari to seek re-election in 2019, Timi Frank said that the Kaduna state governor does not have electoral value and credibility to force the President in 2019, adding that “Buhari is in best position to take such decision by himself.”
While suspecting the sudden love of President Buhari by governor El-rufai, Comrade Frank revealed that the later was doing all that to blackmail the President into his endorsement should in case Buhari does not seek re-election in 2019.
The APC chieftain reminded the Presidency that “when Nigerians were busy praying for safe return of Mr. President from his medical leave to London some months back, it was alleged that the likes of El-rufai were busy scheming on how to become the Vice President.”
According to Frank, “El-rufai is known to singing sycophantic praises whenever is in government. He did it to former President Olusegun Obasenjo andand later abandoned him. He did it to Alhaji Atiku, who brought him to the limelight, and again turned to his enemy. He has even repeated this same act against President Buhari Muhammad Buhari, who El-rufai said that he would never become President. The record is there for everybody to see. He will do it again once Buhari leaves government.
“May be, El-rufai was expecting Mama Taraba to become selfish, self-centered, arrogant and turn Judas like him, and turn her back against Atiku Abubakar who will always stand by her again and again politically,” he said.
On the statement credited to the former Vice President which is generating reactions, Frank urged the President to look at the comments and the good intention of Waziri Adamawa as one meant to add value to his government and not otherwise.
Frank also recalled that the same El-rufai had late last year wrote a lengthy lamentation letter to the President which was later made public.