I won’t retire to Senate like some of my colleagues – Gov El-Rufai



Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, says he will not seek a legislative seat after leaving office.


The governor spoke on Monday at the second edition of the distinguished parliamentarian lecture series organised by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), in Abuja.


El-Rufai was elected as governor in 2015 and is currently serving his second term which will enď in May 2023.


It is not uncommon for governors who have spent two terms in office to contest to be elected into the senate.


Currently, the former governors in the red chamber include Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), Orji Kalu (Abia), Kashim Shettima (Borno), Tanko Almakura (Nasarawa), Ibrahim Geidam (Yobe), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), and Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara).


El-Rufai, however, said he does not look forward to becoming a lawmaker because he does not believe he can function well within such an environment.


“The national assembly, and indeed the legislature, is very key and often the decapitated branch of government, because whenever there is a military coup, every other arm of government is left intact to continue but the legislature is usually dissolved,” he said.


“So, we have found over time, due to years of military rule, legislative tradition has not developed as much as the executive and judicial tradition, and this is why this kind of lecture is very important to continue to build the institutional strength and capacity of the legislature.


“There is also a lot of confusion about the role of the legislature because many of the constituents think that when you are in the legislature, you should get them contracts.


“They think that everyone in government awards contracts. They do not understand that the role of the legislature is to make laws and serve as a check to the executive and judicial excesses. I, therefore, commend the ninth assembly and NILDS for this initiative.


“For me, being here is an opportunity to learn because the legislature is one branch of government I know I can never function in. The hard work needed to convince people to support even your motion is something some of us have no patience for.


“The executive is very straightforward and very hierarchical and once you are the governor, your work is almost done. In the legislature, everyone is equal. There is nothing in leadership more difficult than managing your equals. So, I don’t envy the speaker and senate president, because their job is perhaps the hardest job in this country.


“Managing equals is very difficult; managing subordinates is easy. You can hire and fire. I know I am quite incapable of it, so any opportunity I have to interact with the legislature I take it.


“I know many of my colleague-governors are retired to the senate. I can assure you I can never retire to the legislature because I do not think I can function there.


“So, I really have great respect for those in the legislature and have managed to make it function. It is a great pleasure to be here.”


The governor added that the three arms of government should always work for the public good.


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