Senator Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central) and Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna are not best friends. Their rivalry in has been one of the sub-themes of Kaduna politics in the last two years. Following the leak of a memo sent last September by El-Rufai to President Muhammadu Buhari, the senator has called on the All Progressives Congress (APC) to sanction the governor.
He accused El-Rufai as being behind the leak, describing the memo as disrespectful and disloyal.
In the memo, E-Rufai offered unsolicited advice to the president on issues around the politics and the economy, arguing that the APC has not been delivering on its mandate to Nigerians because of the incompetence of the team surrounding the president. The governor called for a different approach in governance.
“The Governor is entitled to his own opinion and perception, but the contradiction and irony of it, are basically two: first, is that he accused me of being disloyal and disrespectful to the President and the Party for speaking my mind, and now he has done his own cunningly by criticizing the President and the Party, disguised it as a memo and leaked it out to the press. That also qualified him as disloyal and disrespectful. The difference is that mine is blunt while his own is dubious,” Sani said in an Instagram post on Saturday.
He accused Gov. El-Rufai of attempting to use the memo to position himself as a competent alternative to the president.
“For all the issues he raised against the President, his own is worst in his space of governance, whether it is the existence of cabal or politics of exclusion or incompetence or public perception. The difference is that the President is tolerant to criticism and alternative views,” he said.
According to Sani, since the Governor has accused him (Sani) of being in the habit of criticizing him “because I want to be Governor of Kaduna State, that means logically, he is now leaking memo to get popular sympathy and carve an image of a ‘competent alternative’ to Baba. Those who cared to know about my little history know that I don’t call a spade a pestle or spoon.”
“The Governor always recommends that our party should punish me for criticizing him, now that he has fired a crucial memo to the President through a deliberately leaked memo, he should be treated the same. If our able party chair will give me 5 strokes of the cane for speaking out, the Governor should be given thrice that for ‘leaking out’.
“It’s often said that look at the message, and not the messenger, but there are times that you can only decipher the message by looking at the messenger. I will leave these personal proverbs for our great President to keep in mind. He who keeps a scorpion in his pocket must always watch his groin; he who inherits a cobra should know that it is not a pet,” Sani said.