He said most of them are not members of the party and are embittered because their preferred candidate didn’t win the party’s presidential ticket.
El-Rufai spoke on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Wednesday.
“Nigerians should stick with the APC because they should see what we have been able to achieve in the last eight years in very difficult circumstances,” he said.
“This fuel subsidy requires a national conversation. It is not a partisan thing, it has been going on for years, we tried to solve it under the Buhari administration but we were sabotaged and we are where we are.
“And to be honest, we have had the conversation at the level of the national economic council chaired by the vice president and we all agreed it should go, it was Buhari himself that took the decision that this subsidy will hurt the poor and he won’t do it.
“That is why our presidential candidate in the same party is saying he will remove it. It is not a party position but the personal position of the president.
“For the past 3 t0 4 years, I have stopped trying to understand how the federal government works. I just focus on trying to make my state work because that is why primary responsibility.
“There are some things we sit and agreed with the president to get done and it doesn’t get done. And those that refused to get it done don’t get punished.
“If you were at our party, we didn’t promise that we were going to keep fuel subsidy or redesign the currency. It isn’t in our manifesto. You need to separate the personal decisions of some people in the villa from the manifesto of the party. It is important to understand that.
“Most of the people in the villa are not members of our party. I believe there are elements in the villa that want us to lose the election because they didn’t have their way.
“They had their candidates, and their candidates didn’t win the primaries and I think they are still trying to get us to lose the election and they are hiding behind the president’s desire to do what he thinks is right.”