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El-Rufai meets Buhari first time after controversial memo, says presidency insider leaked his letter

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The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai on Friday attended the juma’at prayer with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock mosque, declaring that no one can stop him from accessing the Presidential Villa, Abuja to see Buhari anytime he feels like.

He was categorical that no one including some of the ‘powerful’ aides of the President can stop him from visiting the villa said, “within the villa, there are people that like me and there are those who don’t and it is normal. My relationship with the President has never been strained in any way.”

At the end of the prayers, he and Buhari walked into the official residence of the President. This is the first time the two will be meeting publicly after the Governor’s blunt memo to the President was made public.

El-Rufai raised a lot of issues in the memo, where he pointed out that the All Progressives Congress, APC, was not delivering on its campaign promises to Nigerians. He also accused some people in the presidency of shielding the President from governors and ministers.

Speaking with State House correspondents after the prayers at the Villa, the Kaduna Governor claimed that someone in the Presidency leaked his personal memo to the Media to apparently spite and weaken his relationship with Buhari.

He continued, “I met with him last night, I did not talk about things like that but our relationship with him is like that of father and son and it is a privilege for me. I told him I will come today for the Juma’at and I did.

“No one ever stopped me from coming to the villa and no one can stop me from coming to the villa. As a governor, I come here, I have blank cheques, no one checks me at the gate.

“But I believe what the President needs is for those that love him to keep away from him and allow him to rest.

“The President needs quality time to rest because it is meeting too many people that strain leadership.”

The Governor insisted that he had written several similar memoranda to Buhari to bring his attention on the need to strengthen governance issues in the interest of Nigerians and the All Progressives Congress, APC-led Federal Government.

“I am a governor and I know that when I meet 10 people in a day I get really tired, it is not the paperwork, it is not really the memos, approving them or asking questions that strains a leader, it is the stream of visitors. I do not want to contribute to the President’s problem by coming here every day,” he noted.

El-Rufai said he was happy that part of his recommendations in the memo to the President were being implemented.

“I believe that since September last year when I wrote the letter, there has been a significant improvement in the delivery of services at the federal level. As I said, some of our federal programmes have started in earnest,” he said.

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