El-rufai said this in a chat with the Nation in Kaduna.
He said that the nominees Sani sent to him for appointment were dropped because of lack of necessary academic competence and capacity to function as commissioners and not out of vendetta because Sani defeated his own candidate during the APC primaries.
The governor also said that Sani’s opinion that he (El-rufai) masterminded the disciplinary action meted on him by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for publicly criticizing President Muhammadu Buhari contributed to further fan the Senator’s anger towards him.
He added that the Senator had a history of activism and that was why he depends so strongly on the media for support in his protests and criticism.
The governor hinted that Sani had plans of unseating him as governor in 2019 but declared he was battle-ready for any opposition whether from the Senator, other contenders within the APC fold in the state, or from the opposition political parties.
He said: “Shehu Sani’s first anger was that the list of commissioners came out and none from his list. In a state where there are about 10,000 PhDs that I have in my data base; I am not going to take a diploma holder and make him a commissioner just because he is Shehu Sani’s man. I don’t operate like that.
“He contested the APC primary and defeated the candidate that I supported (General Sani Saleh), and after the primaries.
“I don’t owe Shehu Sani anything. I asked all of them including Shehu Sani, to give me names of people that I will appoint to positions. They gave me, and I looked at them, and none of the people from Shehu’s list is good enough to be a commissioner in my cabinet.
“Because of the things he has been doing, criticizing the president, saying all sorts of things about me, the party disciplinary process was initiated against him, but he blames it on me. He thinks I engineered it. But, frankly, I don’t care about Shehu Sani.
“Shehu Sani’s history is that he is an activist, of some type and it is up to you to determine the adjective.
“I think the problem is that because Shehu Sani’s mind is that of an activist, he thinks that the way to position himself…he thinks politics is being in the media all the time. Activism is different from politics. Sometimes in politics, you don’t want your name in the media, but activists’ oxygen is the media, and he thinks that the way to remain visible and prepare him for running for governor of Kaduna State in 2019 is to criticise everything I do.
“I don’t think he is a threat to me politically or in any way. In 2018, when the whistle is blown we will see who has support on the ground in Kaduna.”