Sokoto — The Chairman Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debt and senator representing Kaduna Central senatorial district, Shehu Sani, wednesday said selfish political elite are behind calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to contest 2019 elections so as to safeguard their political privileges.
Speaking with THISDAY in Sokoto wednesday, Sani maintained that those in position of authority are doing so for their own personal gain because their political existence, future and relevance depend on Buhari contesting in 2019.
He maintained that such selfish elite see Buhari as an instrument to remain in power despite the fact that they do not love him or share the same ideology.
"I must make this clear that the masses calling for Buhari to contest are doing so out of genuine intention as they see him as a messiah that will take Nigeria to the promise land. But the political elite urging him to contest see him as an instrument that will give them the lever to return to power.
"You can see the hypocrisy on the side of the political elite within the ruling party when Buhari was on sick bed in the United Kingdom. They were not sure that he will come back. They were scheming, holding meetings, trying to choose a successor or provide an alternative.
"And then when Buhari came back, they rushed to him organising mock prayers and protest for him. This is just to please him, something that was never organised when he was on sick bed.
"Nasir el-Rufai is one of them. He cannot win election without mentioning the name of Buhari.
He solely depends on Buhari because that is the only way he feels he can win. He doesn't like Buhari but want him just to win elections. They are opposites. Buhari is a leftist who doesn't believe in policies of the World Bank and privatisation while el-Rufai is a core capitalist.
"I have been supporting Buhari when el-Rufai saw him as an unelectable old man and a dictator who should not be trusted with power. He is a toxic to Buhari," he said.
According to him, Buhari should call his campaigners to order because if care is not taken, public resources would now be diverted for his campaign and governance at states and federal level would come to a halt.
The Senator stressed the need for the president to ignore those charlatans by focusing on delivering the promises made to Nigerians.
The lawmaker berated el-Rufai for dissipating energy on fighting perceived enemies rather than working to improve the welfare of the people.
He lamented that the governor had embarked on policies that were inimical to the well being of the people by ejecting civil servants out of their homes.
He noted with dismay that the Kaduna State governor had rebuffed all moves by the national leadership of the APC to reconcile aggrieved members of the party in the state.
"This is a man who is fighting many people. He is fighting religious leaders, labour unions, traditional leaders, people of Southern Kaduna and demolishing people's houses.
"It is true that the party made efforts to reconcile us and bring peace to the state. But he sees himself as stronger than the party. Katsina State Governor, Bello Masari, was mandated by the party to reconcile us but el-Rufai never respected him or the APC national chairman.
"All the aggrieved party members respected Masari and attended the meeting except el-Rufai. He is not a progressive politician at all," he said.
Sani stressed the need for structural political changes in the country that are necessary to reduce cost of servicing political office holders, adding that every state must have a source of generating revenue to address its own issues, policies and programmes.
"We cannot continue to run a system that benefits few people while the masses are in poverty. The fundamental issue is not simply all about North and South, it is also about the few elite and the oppressed masses who have not benefited from the Nigerian enterprise but victims of one policy or another.
"So, the solution to Nigeria's problems hinges on implementing those reforms or face revolt from the masses," Sani added.