Tanimu Yakubu, Yar'Adua's Cabal Resurfaces In Buhari's Economic Team
Tanimu Yakubu Kurfi, former chief economic adviser to late President Umaru
Musa Yar'Adua, is facing serious opposition over his imminent membership
of the policy think-tank of Muhammadu Buhari, presidential candidate of
the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Since TheCable reported that the economics graduate of Wagner College, New
York, US, was tipped to head the economic policy directorate of the Buhari
Campaign Organisation, the former head of state and senior APC chieftains
have been inundated with calls by concerned Nigerians who kicked against
Kurfi's membership. An APC official who spoke with TheCable said it is
going to send the wrong signals if Kurfi plays any major role in the
“I am aware that many well-meaning Nigerians have been expressing worries
over Yakubu. Buhari has not told any of us categorically that Yakubu is
his choice to head the team. He is already aware of the possible
repercussion,” the official said. The head of the policy think-tank is
expected to end up holding a major position in government if Buhari wins
the presidential election next year.
Membership of the committee has not been officially announced but TheCable
reported that two former commissioners in Lagos state, Wale Edun and Yemi
Cardoso, have been nominated by Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos and
national leader of APC. It is also said that Rotimi Amaechi, the governor
of Rivers state who is the director-general of the campaign organisation,
is not aware of the nominations.
A commissioner from the state told TheCable that Amaechi has his own list
of credible and knowledgeable Nigerians who can work with Buhari to
produce an economic blueprint. “His input will certainly be sought. He has
his own candidates.
The only fair conclusion is that the team is still being put together, but
of course General Buhari will have the final say,” he said. Kurfi, who is
from Katsina state like Buhari and has been close to the retired major
general for decades, is not in the good books of many because of his role
in the Yar'Adua government. Seen as the most powerful political appointee
of Yar'Adua, he was held responsible for the stalling of many projects
initiated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo allegedly because of
He was said to have stalled the execution of power projects, Kano-Lagos
rail modernisation and the renewal of oil mining licences of multinational
oil companies. Kurfi was also said to have shot down several bills on
privatisation sent to Yar'Adua by the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE),
and was even held responsible for the reversal of the sale of Warri and
Kaduna refineries to a company owned by Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola.
In an American embassy cable leaked by whistle-blowing Wikileaks, Sanusi
Lamido Sanusi, former governor of the central bank, allegedly described
Yakubu as a “terrible economist”.
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