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2011: JONATHAN CAN CONTEST — EL-RUFAI

By NBF NEWS
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El-Rufai spoke to journalists at the State House while reacting to the raging debate over the President's eligibility to contest the 2011 presidential election on the platform of the PDP.

The former minister, who recently returned to country from the United States, was part of a delegation from Kaduna State, which was on a condolence and solidarity visit to Jonathan at his temporary residence at the Aguda House in the Presidential Villa.

He dismissed the PDP's zoning arrangement, describing it as 'presidency by allocation.'

According to him, 'I have expressed my view that any Nigerian is entitled to contest. I don't believe in presidency by allocation.'

Also, when asked to confirm reports that he was on his way back to the government, as part of the Jonathan administration, he replied, 'You have to ask Goodluck Jonathan.'

But when journalists asked what his reaction would be if the President offered him an appointment, el-Rufai said, 'I will ask my family.'

The former minister, who is currently facing a corruption charge instituted against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, also said the President would not interfere with the case.

The Federal Government recently dropped a court case against another former government official, erstwhile chairman of the EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.

Like el-Rufai, Ribadu is also tipped to join the Jonathan administration.

'This President does not interfere with the work of the judiciary,' el-Rufai said, when asked whether Jonathan could stop the case against him as a prelude to offering him an appointment.

Rather, el-Rufai expressed a determination to resolve the matter in court.

The Kaduna State delegation was led by Governor Namadi Sambo, and included government officials, traditional rulers and other prominent indigenes of the state.