2027: Intrigues As El-Rufai Meets SDP, PDP, APC Leaders

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Former Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, continued his political consultation over the weekend as he met with political leaders from the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC).
The meeting was hosted at the Abuja residence of the 2023 governorship candidate of SDP in Sokoto State Senator Abubakar Gada, on the platform of the “IFTAR” breaking of the fast.
Besides Gada and el-Rufai, others at the meeting were SDP national chairman, Alhaji Shehu Musa Gabam, Senator Teslim Folarin, former Senate Leader and the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate for Oyo State in the 2023 general elections.
Also at the meeting were Senator Nazif Suleiman, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Bauchi State, and Hon. Kamel Akinlabi, a former member of the House of Representatives from Oyo State PDP, among others.
This meeting comes less than 72 hours after El-Rufa’i’s visit to the SDP national secretariat in Abuja where he met with Gabam and other members of the party executive. The former Kaduna governor has also met with Senator Abdul Ningi, shortly after the lawmaker was suspended by the Senate.
Recall that El-Rufai, who played a critical role in the campaign for President Bola Tinubu in the 2023 election, had his ministerial ambition thwarted following a petition against his appointment in the Senate.
While he went into political hibernation afterwards, the former governor resurfaced politically in recent weeks with his visits, which has caused rumours of a possible defection.
However, source at last weekend’s gathering told LEADERSHIP that the meeting forebodes a political realignment ahead of the 2027 general election.
The source said, “The coming together of these national figures will no doubt bring hope to Nigerians especially at this trying moment when the majority are living in abject poverty, hunger, insecurity among others.”
The source however quoted Gabam as appreciating the host of the meeting for “bringing together high profile Nigerians who are more concerned about the current situation in the country and assured Nigerians of their collective commitment to ensure the country bounce back to its lost glory. “
However, Gabam had in an earlier interview, described el-Rufai’s visit to the SDP office as that of a close friend.
Gabam however added that “every sensible human being is greatly disturbed with the current situation of our dear country which requires collective responsibilities of all stakeholders in the country, irrespective of party, ethnic or regional inclinations.”
But reacting to a rumour that the former governor is planning to defect from APC and contest the 2027 election, his media aide, Muyiwa Adekeye, said his principal has no plan to contest against Tinubu in 2027.
In a statement posted on his X account, Adekeye, said, “I consider the most recent speculations about Malam 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.
“Malam 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.
“Malam Nasir @elrufai hosted some friends to Iftar on Tuesday, 19 March 2024. NSA Nuhu Ribadu was at the Iftar with a senior APC figure like Alh. 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.




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