El-Rufai’s Surprise Visit To SDP National Secretariat Sparks Defection Rumour


A former Kaduna State governor and former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory FCT, Abuja, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, Wednesday paid a surprise visit to the national secretariat of the Social Democratic Party in Abuja.

The former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory paid the surprise visit to the party’s leadership on Wednesday.

An informed source hinted that the former governor, who is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), came on a consultation visit to the National Chairman of the SDP, Alhaji Shehu Musa Gabam.

According to the source, Gabam described el-Rufai as a friend with a high political pedigree, adding that Nigeria needs transformational leaders like him.

The source hinted that el-Rufai was received by the members of the National Working Committee of the party.

Recall that Mallam el-Rufai has been paying consultation visits to some notable politicians across political parties in recent times.

Meanwhile, some political analysts believe that the former Kaduna governor, who announced his decision to quit active politics and focus on his private business last year, may be planning to join the SDP.

He was nominated for a ministerial position in President Bola Tinubu’s administration but was not confirmed by the Senate.

However, reacting to the rumour of a possible defection by Mallam el-Rufai to the rival party, Muyiwa Adekeye, media aide to the former governor, in a statement on Thursday, dismissed such insinuations, saying el-Rufa’i’s SDP visit was to reciprocate an earlier gesture by the party chairman.

The statement shared by Bello el-Rufai on his verified X handle said: “I consider the most recent speculations about Mallam Nasir @elrufai as reflecting an unhealthy obsession with politics. People have personal histories and relationships that predate political affiliations. It cannot be a hallmark of civilisation to have friends from within only your political party. When people visit each other or mingle across party lines, it is because human relationships exist, distinct from the political or the partisan.

“Mallam Nasir @elrufai is a senior member of the APC, one of the signatories to its merger documents, and a significant contributor to the party’s demonstrated viability. These contributions do not require that he treats friends as anathema on account of politics or maintains an antiseptic distance from them.

“Mallam Nasir @elrufai hosted some friends to Iftar on Tuesday, 19 March 2024. National Security Adviser (NSA), Mallam @NuhuRibadu was at the Iftar with a senior APC figure like Alhaji Kashim Imam. SDP National Chairman Shehu Musa Gabam was among the friends who partook in the Iftar. Gabam was not accused of considering crossing over to the APC on account of that.

“When Mallam Nasir @elrufai visited Gabam the next day, he was merely returning a visit to a friend who happens to be the SDP chairman. Malam El-Rufai is known for being open and forthright. If he had any political decisions to make, it would not be in character to let them be subject to speculation. Unfounded speculations about Malam Nasir @elrufai have become an industry that has delivered tons of lies and clickbait in the last 18 years.

“This is unlikely to abate anytime soon, given the persistent obsession of its purveyors who relish in negativity and their tireless indulgence in conflating assumption with fact. A recent instance was when he visited former presidents late in 2023 to explain his Nigerian governance study book project covering each of their tenures, the speculators said it was about politics!

“That is why it is sometimes necessary to clarify matters lest the unwary be taken in.”


Eighteen-Eleven Media 


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