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Nigeria: What is Kaduna Governor Nasir el-Rufai planning for 2023?

By Dele Yusuf
Posted on Thursday, 14 October 2021 14:09, updated on Tuesday, 19 October 2021 10:17

Executive Governor of Kaduna State Nasir El-Rufai in Kaduna, Nigeria November 1, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state in northwest Nigeria is one of the country’s most prominent politicians. He is a regular face in newspapers, usually with controversial comments on the core issues. This time, he is said to be determined to defend the interest of northern Nigeria, especially in relation to the 2023 presidential poll. But his close contacts tell The Africa Report that the governor has his undivided attention on Kaduna state, with no plans yet for the election... and that is he is a more national-minded politician than he is given credit for.

Preparations for Nigeria’s general elections in 2023 continue in Kaduna, where the state governor Nasir el-Rufai recently hosted colleagues from the 19 northern states in Nigeria. The meeting, held on September 27, discussed key issues affecting the region, but chief among them was the presidential election.

Days after the meeting, el-Rufai defended the northern leaders’ position in their condemnation of a statement – about the 2023 presidency – issued by governors from southern Nigeria. The southern leaders had said the presidency “must” be rotational and zoned to the region in 2023 when the 8-year tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari, a northerner, elapses.