President Bola Tinubu has made a replacement within his cabinet, replacing Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the former Ministerial nominee from Kaduna State, with Balarabe Abbas,Daily Trust reports.
The announcement was made by Senate President Godswill Akpabio on Tuesday, as he read a letter from the president. In this letter, President Tinubu sought the confirmation of three individuals: Abbas, Jamila Bio, and Olawale Olawande.
Jamila Bio and Olawale Olawande have been assigned the roles of Minister of Youths and Minister of State for Youths, respectively. However, no specific portfolio has been assigned to Abbas at this time.
Balarabe Abbas previously served as the Secretary to the State government under El-Rufai’s administration. He also played a pivotal role in heading the state’s transition committee in 2015 and served as the vice-chairman of the committee in 2019. Additionally, he led a 65-member transition committee for the swearing-in of Governor Uba Sani in 2023.
Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nasir El-Rufai, was initially nominated as one of the 48 ministerial candidates by President Tinubu in July. His name was among the first 28 nominees sent to the National Assembly for approval on July 27.
During his screening process, Senator Sunday Karimi, representing Kogi west, presented a petition against El-Rufai. Consequently, the Senate withheld the confirmation of El-Rufai, along with Stella Okotete from Delta State and Senator Abubakar Sani from Taraba State, citing concerns related to security clearance.
This development led to mixed reactions, and it was reported that the embarrassment prompted El-Rufai to withdraw his interest in becoming a minister and subsequently leave the country.