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Some Jonathan Appointees Were Replaced After My Memo: El-rufai

Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, says some of the appointees of former President Goodluck Jonathan who were running key federal agencies were dismissed after the memo he wrote to President Muhammadu Buahri.

“Since then the government has moved ahead to change some of the appointees of President Jonathan in parastatals,” he said.

“This is something that we were worried about, many of us in APC felt that we were in office but not in power because the people that Jonathan appointed were still running most of our key agencies.”
The federal government changed the head of 23 key agencies on Thursday.

However, el-Rufai blamed some people around Buhari for the manner in which the memo was leaked.
In the 30-page document, el-Rufai told Buhari that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was leaving below expectation.

Making reference to Abba Kyari, chief of staff to the president, and Babachir Lawal, secretary to the government of the federation, the governor said some of the people around Buhari were not only selfish, but inexperienced.

Last month, el-Rufai had said he had no regrets about what he wrote , and that he felt less concerned if anyone was upset about the letter.

But speaking with state house correspondents after attending Jumat service with the president on Friday, el-Rufai said he had it on good authority that those around the president released the document.

“I am disappointed that a private communication to the highest office in the land can be leaked and it was leaked from the villa,” he said.

“This is a fact. I was told by those who published it… we live in an age where anything you write or say can be leaked. I have no ill motive but I wanted to communicate with the president what many Nigerians are talking about and what steps can be taken to improve governance of the country and move the country forward.

“That was my motive and if tomorrow, like I said, I see anything that the president needs to know I will discuss with him and I will articulate and put it into writing and on the record for him to have a reminder document to work on.”

El-Rufai said he had noticed significant improvement at the federal level after writing the memo.

“I believe that since September last year when I wrote the letter, there has been significant improvement in the delivery of services at the federal level as I said some of our federal programmes have started in earnest,” he said.

“Social protection for instance, the N-Power, budget releases have been accelerated, this is an unprecedented move.

“The minister of finance has released up to about a trillion naira of capital budget. In September last year, little or nothing had been released and that was part of my concern. Since then the economic recovery and growth plan had been unveiled.

At the time I wrote the memo, there was no five-year plan for the country. From September till date, there have been significant improvement. So there is improvement, and I believe that part of what I recommended to the president is being implemented, whether because of my memo or not, the country is moving forward and I am grateful to God for it.”

The Kaduna governor also denied the reports that the memo led to a strain in his relationship with Buhari.

“There is no strain in my ties with the President. The villa is a bigger place. Within the villa there are people that like me and there are those who don’t and it is normal,” he said.

“My relationship with the president has never been strained in anyway. I met with him last night (Thursday), I did not talk about things like that but our relationship with him is like that of father and son and it is privilege for me.

“I told him I will come today for the Jumaat and I did.”
Asked why he would write such a letter to the president in the first instance, he said, “It was a private memo and it is not a letter. If you want to ask any question about it, you ask those who leaked the memo because I wrote it seven months ago.

“I have written similar memos to the president in the past and none of them got leaked. He knows that he can count on me to give him my views of what is out there that he may not hear and to give him sound advice without any interest on my part.

“If anyone reads that memo, he will see that there is nothing in the memo that has anything to do other than the success of Mr President and progress of the country. That is my goal, my motive and I am driven by that. I stand behind the President to the very end.”

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