A little drama played out, Thursday, at the launching of the Kaduna Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in the state when the Senator representing Kaduna Central, Senator Shehu Sani angrily walked out of the event after sighting the Kaduna state Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai who was equally invited to the occasion.
The two big politicians who were good friends before but have turned arch enemies were both invited to the launch of the anti-graft zonal office by EFCC.
But Senator Sani drove out immediately the governor arrived.
Sen. Sani & Gov. El-Rufai
The senator also berated the anti-graft agency for, according to him, inviting characters who do not qualify or tally with what the agency stands and fights for, saying, “I honoured the invitation to launch the zonal office of the EFCC and to participate in a stakeholder’s forum.
“I don’t think someone invited in this event fits into the philosophy and principles of the EFCC.
“I don’t know how the EFCC can squarely investigate corruption cases in Kaduna with some of this characters cutting the tape of their new abode,” Mr. Sani said.
Efforts by people at the gate to convince the Senator to return to the event proved abortive.
Other dignitaries who attended the event were the Senator representing Kaduna North, Sulaiman Hunkuyi, immediate past governor of the state, Ramalan Yero, the EFCC Acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu, and the representative of Shehu Idris, the Emir of Zazzau, among others.
Recall that the two politicians have been at daggers drawn for quite some time now.
Even a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC and former Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Cooperation and Integration in Africa/NEPAD in the 7th National Assembly, Hon. Ibrahim Bello Rigachikun, in an interview with Vanguard’s Dirisu Yakubu sometime this year gave the true bone of contention between Governor Nasir El-Rufai and Senator Shehu Sani.
The now private legal practitioner and National Chairman of the Buhari Like-Minds Movement of Nigeria had said, “A lot of people love our party in Kaduna State, and it is very unfortunate that this is happening today. We expect these two highly respected men to reconcile their differences especially since elections are over.
“But in my perspective, I often say that this is the first time in Nigeria political history that four or five political parties would merge forces into a single political platform that ultimately became what we call the APC today. Do not forget that Comrade Shehu Sani came from the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) while Nasir El-Rufai came from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
“You see, each man is protecting his political structure and I believe the leadership of the party in the state which could not comply with the manifesto and constitution of the APC is partly to blame.
“For instance, the party constitution makes it clear that when a seat is vacant, filling same should not be automatic but that election should hold. The Deputy Governor of Kaduna State was the Chairman of the APC in the State, and he became the Deputy Governor.
“The Secretary of the party became a Commissioner and is now the Chief of Staff to the Governor. So, the flagrant disobedience of the laid procedures by the party became a huge challenge at the onset. So, if there had been reconciliation with those seats legitimately filled, I do not think these problems would arise today. We, the stakeholders have shown concern by drawing the attention of the party leadership in the state to what is happening because if things continue this way, we may have problems in 2019.
“Whether we like it or not, we need the cooperation of the governor, and that of the senator for they both have their strength. I must say that I am convinced that sooner than later, the two would reconcile their differences in the interest of the party,” he had said.