Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufa’i told newsmen Friday at the State House in Abuja before joining President Buhari for Juma’at prayer at the Presidential Villa Mosque that efforts were being made to ensure Buhari’s re-election, adding that the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, who recently said Buhari promised to serve for one term was on her own as she had never supported Buhari.

“Some ministers, governors and politicians under the banner of ‘Buharists’ are working to ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari re-contests the presidential election in 2019,” he said.

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The Kaduna State governor also denied nursing any presidential ambition, saying: “What I want to say here very, very clearly is that I have never been a presidential aspirant. I have never even been a gubernatorial aspirant.

“My name has continuously been mentioned as a presidential aspirant since 2007, after my years in the FCT. There’s nothing new about that. What I want to say here very clearly is that I’ve never been a presidential aspirant, I’ve never even been a gubernatorial aspirant.

“I’m governor today by the grace of God because President Buhari called me and said go and run for governor of Kaduna State. As far as 2019 is concerned, my position is the president is looking very well, he is recuperating very fast. My hope and prayer is he’ll contest in 2019.”

                           

But Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, on Saturday warned President Muhammadu Buhari to be wary of those close to him. He made the call while cautioning the president to be wary of those who publicly show their support and affection for him.

Sani, obviously referring to statement by Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Aisha Alhassan, said she is a lesser evil compared to some who claim to love Buhari. Sharing a photograph of the president in a Facebook post, the outspoken lawmaker said Buhari should be mindful of those who spat venom before him and those who did behind him, stressing that they are all snakes.

“The disloyal cobra who spat venom before you and the friendly viper who sprayed venom behind you are all snakes. In comparison, the former is of lesser evil than the later,” he wrote.

Alhassan had few days ago drew up a line of controversy when she publicly declared her support for former Vice President Atiku Abubakar ahead of the 2019 election.

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Meanwhile, Timi Frank, Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to fall for the antics of Nasir el-Rufa’i. In a statement on Saturday, Frank said el-Rufa’i is known for “betraying” his benefactors, saying:

“When Nigerians were busy praying for the safe return of Mr. President from his medical leave to London some months back, it was alleged that the likes of el-Rufa’i were busy scheming on how to become the vice-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-Rufa’i should keep quiet because he is not known to be one. A serial betrayal like this governor has no record of loyalty to anybody.

“el-Rufa’i is known [for] singing sycophantic praises of [whomever] is in government. He did it to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and 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 Muhammad Buhari, who el-Rufa’i said would never become president. The record is there for everybody to see. He will do it again once Buhari leaves government.

“Maybe el-Rufa’i was expecting Mama Taraba to become selfish, self-centred, arrogant and turn Judas like him, and turn her back against Atiku Abubakar who will always stand by her again and again politically.”