2027: Nigerians Divided After El-Rufai’s Son Called Tinubu ‘Utter Failure’   

2027: Nigerians Divided After El-Rufai’s Son Called Tinubu ‘Utter Failure’

Bashir El-Rufai, son of former Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai, stirred controversy on Thursday after claiming in a series of social media posts that no politician in Nigeria is immune to being voted out of office.

The statement, perceived by many as a veiled criticism of President Bola Tinubu, ignited a heated debate among Nigerians on social media and further revealed deep divisions along political, regional, and ethnic lines, among Nigerians.

Bashir, on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), said: “Nobody is too big to be elected out of office by the people. It will happen & wallahi nothing will happen.”

In the veiled attack on the current administration headed by Tinubu, Bashir urged Nigerians to remain patient and disregard intimidation tactics.

The reactions to Bahir’s statement are mixed. While some welcome the comments as a necessary reminder of democratic principles, others perceive them as politically motivated criticism.

One Facebook user, Joe Joe, accused Bahir of hypocrisy, stating, “Just because your father is not part of the government will not make President Tinubu successful. Your father was the worst tyrant leader.”

This sentiment was echoed by Ikenna Nwachukwu, who questioned the motives behind Bashir’s statement and suggested that it might be driven by personal political interests.

The debate also took on regional dimensions, with some commentators viewing Bashir’s statement through the lens of North-South politics.

Kenneth Ekah, a Facebook user, voiced his displeasure with alleged northern political maneuvering: “The north thinks they can remove people anyhow they want whenever they want to put their own person. Tinubu is not like Jonathan ooooo.”

But supporting Bashir’s stance, one Musa Nurul Adnan said “He is right! Even Tinubu, if he did not amend his incompetency Nigerians will [show him the] way out of the presidency.”

While Bashir did not directly mention Tinubu’s name in his posts, his subsequent comments seemed to target the president’s political stronghold.

“Even IMF & World Bank no go save una that time. Political strategist una. That one na for Lagos [State],” he wrote, in what some have interpreted as a direct challenge to Tinubu’s influence in Lagos, where he served two terms as governor.

“Wallahi, none of you will force anyone to support this utter failure of governance disguised as useless, dangerous ethnocentric political strategy,” the former Kaduna governor’s son added.

Bashir’s comments come amid allegations of betrayals within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Recent events have fueled speculation about a deepening divide between President Tinubu and key northern political figures, including Nasir El-Rufai.

Adding to the intrigue, former Governor El-Rufai recently hosted Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, the presidential candidate of the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP) in the 2023 elections, at his Abuja residence. The meeting followed El-Rufai’s visit to former President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, Katsina State, and a meeting in March with the national chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

The events have led to speculation about El-Rufai’s intentions ahead of the 2027 presidential election. Former Senator Shehu Sani had claimed that El-Rufai’s visit to Buhari was part of a plot by prominent northern politicians to unseat President Tinubu in the next election.

Meanwhile, the seeming tension between El-Rufai and the Tinubu administration can be traced back to the former’s failed ministerial nomination. Despite being put forward by President Tinubu, El-Rufai’s appointment was rejected by the Senate under unclear circumstances.

Segun Showunmi, a chieftain of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), recently accused President Tinubu of betraying key APC leaders who supported his 2023 election bid.

Showunmi pointed to the rejection of El-Rufai’s ministerial nomination by the Senate, and ongoing prosecution of former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Amid this, El-Rufai appears to have distanced himself from the Tinubu administration.

In April, he criticized the Tinubu-led Federal Government for allegedly spending more on petrol subsidy than previous administrations despite announcing an end of the subsidy regime.

“Asiwaju ( President Bola Tinubu) announced the withdrawal of fuel subsidy on 29th May , but believe it or not , fuel subsidy is back , we’re spending more now, about N8 trillion on subsidy than before 29th of May,” El-Rufai had said.

“For example, if you appoint a person to a position and he is not performing to expectations, you should have the humility to say look, I need a better person to do the job perfectly. Leadership is a continuous thing and in a term of four years, you can’t assess a government of nine months.”

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