· The president made the request in Daura on September 13th, 2016
· The Cabal finally takes full control
Governor Nasir el-Rufai’s controversial memo in which he urged President Muhammadu Buhari to take urgent proactive steps to revamp his administration was at the behest of the President himself.
Some members of the Cabal in the Presidency, who are scheming for relevance and seeking the ears of President Buhari, are using the memo to get back at el-Rufai, who is not in their good books.
In the memo, el-Rufai, in very blunt terms, had told the President: “Our APC administration has not only failed to manage the expectations of a populace that expected overnight ‘change’ but has failed to deliver even mundane matters of governance outside of our successes in fighting BH insurgency and corruption”.
The forces against el-Rufai reportedly leaked the confidential memo and made it to look like el-Rufai had turned against Buhari – while the President himself requested the memo from el-Rufai, reputed to be a member of his kitchen cabinet.
The plot against el-Rufai is part of the intrigues, confusion, in-fighting and scheming for power and relevance going on in the Presidency as members of the Cabal realign their forces to maintain their hold on power – given the President’s ill-health.
Sources conversant with the issues confided to The AUTHORITY that Buhari requested the memo from el Rufai, contrary to speculations that El-Rufai acted on his own volition in initiating the memo.
The sources that were privy to the origin of the memo told The AUTHORITY that el-Rufai had, during his Sallah homage to Buhari at Daura on September 13, 2016, engaged the president on the state of the nation.
“The President was impressed with El-Rufai’s analysis of the problems confronting the administration and the suggestions as to what the president needed to do to deliver. It was at that point that the president asked him to put his thoughts on paper for him,” said the source.
Sources confirmed to The AUTHORITY that El Rufai consulted widely, aware that the memo could be misconstrued and used against him.
“His exact fears have played out. And like we feared the president has refused to speak up. If he did the sail would have been taken out of the plot. But this is the nature of the President. Like in Magu’s case…, he was messed up by the Cabal, without the president lifting a finger,” said the source.
The Sallah encounter came just weeks after the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) had, in a meeting with the president, raised the issues that el-Rufai would also raise. The ACF impressed on the president the need to sack the Chief of Staff, Alhaji Abba Kyari and the Secretary to Government of the Federation Engineer David Lawal for “sheer incompetence” and lack of administrative capacity.
A permanent secretary from the north east is helping the SGF, the same way Ambassador Babagana Kingibe is helping out Abba Kyari.
The follow up between the president and the ACF has severally been scuttled by the Chief of Staff.
Dr Hakeem Baba Ahmed, the joint secretary of the party, has since moved on. He is now the Chief of Staff to Senator Bukola Saraki.
The sources confirmed that although the memo was ready before the flag off of the Edo State governorship election, which the president attended, Governor El Rufai didn’t submit it because he wanted to consult further and wider.
Convinced about the noble intentions behind the memo, and the fact that the president himself asked for it, he finally sent the memo.
Governor el-Rufai has never been popular with those around the president. He was once a strong critic of the president, but once he became convinced that Goodluck Jonathan must be defeated, he switched and became a fanatical supporter of Buhari.
Sources told The AUTHORITY that the decision to ask el-Rufai to contest the governorship of Kaduna State was to “tactically get rid of him”. The Cabal reasoned that if El-Rufai wasn’t the governor of Kaduna State, it would have been difficult to stop him from becoming the Chief of Staff.
“The same forces that leaked the memo sold the governorship project to Buhari, who now insisted that if el-Rufai wanted him to run then he must contest,” said the source.
The intention of the Cabal is to pitch him against Bola Tinubu, the beautiful bride, the party leadership and the general public.
On the flip side his colleague governors have become convinced after they got to know of the memo, and his anger over the Ambassadorial lists. Hitherto most governors believed that el-Rufai was part of the decision that robbed them of input in appointments.
He went on: “This situation is compounded by the fact that some officials around you seem to believe and may have persuaded you that current APC State Governors must have no say and must also be totally excluded from political consultations, key appointments and decision-making at the federal level”.
The AUTHORITY can confirm that governor el-Rufai spoke the minds of many on the SGF, when he described the Secretary to the Government of the Federation as “not only inexperienced in public service but lacking in humility, in addition to being insensitive and rude to virtually most of the party leaders, ministers and governors. The SGF is in the habit of asking politicians to write for appointments. Many are still waiting for his reply years after.”
In the memo he had also taken the Chief of Staff to the cleaners. “The Chief of Staff is totally clueless about the APC and its internal politics at best as he was neither part of its formation nor a participant in the primaries, campaign, and elections,” el-Rufai said.
“In summary, neither of them has the personality, experience, and the reach to manage your politics nationally or even regionally.”
The AUTHORITY can confirm that the Chief of Staff only asked the APC National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, for his number late last year.
Indeed, the United Nations Under Secretary and immediate past Minster of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed, had a face-off with the Chief of Staff, who had queried her for “daring” to see the President without his permission.