Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, says he will “reluctantly” contest the 2023 presidency in a joint ticket with Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, if President Muhammadu Buhari insists.
El-Rufai spoke on Wednesday during an interview on Channels Television.
Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, several politicians have declared their ambition for the number one seat while some are still making consultations.
Amaechi, former Rivers governor, has been rumoured to be interested in running for president.
Asked about the rumoured presidential bid of Amaechi, el-Rufai confirmed that the minister of transportation is interested in being president.
The Kaduna governor, however, added that he has repeatedly said he is not interested in any political position in 2023.
“I have said it over and over but I guess the trust in politicians is very low. Nobody believes me. I have said over and over that I’m not a contestant for any office. I’m not an aspirant for anything,” he said.
“Rotimi Amaechi is interested in running for president. He has the right to do so but I’m not running for anything. I’m not going to be on his ticket.”
When asked of his potential response if Buhari directs him to run for office or become the running mate to Amaechi, el-Rufai said he will oblige if the president insists.
“That is a different conversation. I will have that conversation with the president and explain to him why I don’t think it is a good idea but of course if he insists I will,” he said.
The Kaduna governor said he is tired of public life, but not tired of serving his country, stressing that he is “physically tired” owing to his work as governor.
“I’m tired. I’m not tired of serving the nation. I’m just physically tired because I do take my work seriously and in the last seven to eight years, I have worked flat out,” he added.
“I’m not young anymore. I will be 63 next year so I prefer to look at other options to contribute to the development of my country.
“But of course, as you said, I did not want to run for governor, the president insisted that I should run. If the president insists I should do something, I have so much regard for him and his judgement that I will do it — even reluctantly.”