by Adeniyi Abdul
Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has responded to comments made by newly appointed Senior Special Assistant to the president on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, who criticised him for his constant criticism of President Goodluck Jonathan. Okupe on Thursday in Abuja said, “El-Rufai is my younger brother. I have so much respect for him. But politics is more or less derailing or deranging him. Everybody knows that insurgency is a very difficult national problem. It is not anything peculiar to Nigeria. No responsible citizen of any of those countries affected by insurgency before called on their Presidents to resign.”
El-Rufai has now responded, in a statement released his media advisor, Muyiwa Adekeye, in which Okupe was described as a false patriot, who only provided further proof of the failure of the government with his statement.
“After the needless drama at the Lagos airport when the SSS tried to truncate his trip abroad, Malam Nasir el-Rufai was greeted at his destination with evidence of further misguided action by the Jonathan government,” the statement read. “That was the spectacle of the recycled Dr. Doyin Okupe providing a specious political thesis that confirms the crisis of thoughtlessness in government. Dr. Okupe asked that critics of the government should tell it what to do, wrapping his defense of incompetence around a false patriotism.
“It bears repeating that the duty of patriots is to stand up for their country, not necessarily for its government, especially one as uninspiring as the incumbent. Had more patriots stood up in Nazi Germany and Apartheid South Africa, millions of lives would have been saved. Service to one’s country includes being able to acknowledge when the responsibilities of office seem beyond the ken of its government.” he said.
“The federal government is failing to tackle terror, kidnapping, armed robbery and other forms of insecurity. It is right that it be held to account for these failures. The best response the government can give its critics is performance, not cheaply questioning their patriotism. The Jonathan government cannot outsource to others the duty to provide good governance and the quality of leadership that can inspire the country.”
He went on to point out that Pastor Tunde Bakare, who had also been berated in Okupe’s statement for speaking against the government, had helped Goodluck Jonathan find his way into power.
“It was the patriotism of many citizens in the Save Nigeria Group, including Pastor Tunde Bakare and Malam Nasir el Rufai, that helped make Goodluck Jonathan acting president against the machinations of the Yar’Adua cabal,” he said.
“It was the patriotism of citizens, expressed in the discourse and agitations against fuel subsidy removal that exposed the trillion naira subsidy scam. Better still, it was the patriotism of these citizens that pressurized the government to reluctantly indict their friends and financiers that were found wanting by the National Assembly probe into the worst corruption saga in our checkered history.”