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Ministerial Confirmation: El-Rufai, Wike Meet Tinubu

Immediate-past governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, and former governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, on Wednesday, met  President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja ostensibly to discuss the refusal of the Senate to confirm El-Rufai’s ministerial nomination by the President.

El-Rufai and Wike were among the 48 ministerial nominees sent to the Senate for screening and confirmation.

The Senate, however, confirmed 45 out of the 48 ministerial nominees, citing security checks as the reason for the refusal to confirm the remaining three. Among the unconfirmed three was El-Rufai.

His visit to the President on Wednesday was two days after the Senate failed to confirm him as a minister-designate.

While Wike arrived at the Villa at about 1.40pm, El-Rufai arrived at about 2pm.

While there was no official communication on the reason for the visit, sources at the Presidential Villa hinted that it was connected to El-Rufai’s ministerial nomination.

One of the sources, a senior adviser to the President, told The PUNCH that, “It (the visit) is over the issue with the Senate. The two of them are here to meet the President on the matter. I don’t know what the resolution is but I’m sure that everything will be settled.”

Asked when El-Rufai would likely be confirmed by the Senate, the source said, “That I don’t know but I’m sure everything will fall in line soon.”

On Tuesday, the Senate spokesperson, Yemi Adaramodu, who appeared on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, said the Red Chamber might reinvite the three ministerial nominees yet to be confirmed for fresh screening.

Adaramodu said partly, “The question raised about them is an ongoing issue. So, once the Senate is satisfied, definitely, if we need to invite them to the chamber for the re-confirmation and re-screening, then we’ll do that.”

The PUNCH had reported that during El-Rufai’s screening on the floor of the Senate, Senator Karimi Sunday from Kogi West raised a “very strong petition” against the ex-Kaduna governor that bordered on insecurity, unity, and national cohesion.

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