The simmering battle for influence within the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency is escalating as the newly reappointed Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, is said to have resolved to block the Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai from having unfettered access to the seat of power.
According to a Villa source, the rivalry between the duo peaked as the diminutive Kaduna State reportedly schemed to edge out Kyari as Buhari’s Chief of Staff.
Sources also confirmed that El-Rufai had used his access to the President to snitch on politicians he doesn’t like and peddle influence.
Recall that a group staged at a protest at the National secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) demanding that the President Muhammadu Buhari extricate himself from the undue influences of his nephew, Mamman Daura, businessman Ismaila Funtua and Kyari, accusing them of dictating policies that are anti-APC and pro-opposition.
But another group staged a counter protest in favour of Kyari and others at the Villa, asking the president to ignore some people they described as ‘blackmailers’ who are being sponsored from within the administration.
In the protest letter submitted to the Villa and read to journalists, the convener of the rally, Dr. Paul Dowells Essen, said “Sir, your Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari is doing well. He is discharging his duty diligently, of course, those who want his office are not ghosts, they are neither PDP members, they are of the APC.
“While it is the right of every individual to aspire, it should be done with every sense of respect for the Office of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.
President Buhari however kept faith with Kyari by reappointing him as Chief of staff last week.
But a Villa Source said the chief of staff is on a mission to consolidate his grip on the levels of power at the Villa and his first target is cutting the Kaduna governor to size.
The source said, “Abba Kyari does not want to see Elrufai near the villa again. He has gotten back his job as Chief of staff and wants to show his strength.
“But Elrufai and his family are angry. They are still fighting the CoS. Now, the CoS wants to show them who owns the villa,” the source disclosed.
In a related development, it was gathered that Kyari is also battling to thwart the reappointment of Femi Adesina as Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Buhari.
Kyari and Adesina are said to have personal scores to settle.
“Femi Adesina too is fighting to be reappointed. Abba Kyari prefers Garba Shehu. Kyari has personal scores to settle with Femi and would rather not see him again in the villa. If Femi loses the battle, he might get some appointment outside of the villa,” a source said.
Similarly, it was also learnt that the former National Security Adviser, (NSA) Major General Babagana Monguno, to Buhari is seriously fighting to be reappointed.
A source said “If he gets it, fine for him. If he fails, he is in deep shit. He has offended lots of members of the cabal and they want to deal with him.”