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Nasir El-Rufai was born on February 16, 1960 to a Fulani family in Daudawa. He attended Borewa College and later attended Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, where he received a bachelor's degree in quantity surveying with first class honours. He received a Law degree from the University of London, and masters degree in public administration from John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University in June 2019. He also received the Kennedy School Certificate in Public Policy and Management having spent 11 months as an Edward A. Mason Fellow in Public Policy and Management from July 2008 to June 2009. In 2014, El-Rufai declared his campaign for Governor of Kaduna State, contesting the APC governorship primaries to emerge as the party's candidate for Governor of Kaduna State. He went on to win the governorship election with over one million votes to defeat the incumbent Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yelo the candidate of the Peoples Democractic Party. He was re-elected on March 9, 2019