by Femi Owolabi Success
When we talk of integrity, we generally refer (at least in part) to the realisation of that nature which is literally integral to our being; of being true to our intrinsic qualities and character.
Mallam Nasir el-Rufai to some is a man of considerable intellect.
Well, I’ve not come to question that, lest some toothless dogs start to name me another Reno Omokri or say that I was at dinner with Reuben Abati yesterday. This is no lambaste, it’s simply mere musings of one desperate Naija boi.
I once asked my younger brother why he had chosen El-Rufai as his mentor. He said El-Rafai gave him a handshake and took a photo with them when he came to their school. He was part of the executives of the student union government that hosted El-Rufai and the Buhari-Bakare team during the 2011 electioneering time.
“Mehnn you need to see how soft Mallam’s palm is,” he added. I still laugh at my brother though – that he believes in someone’s ideologies just because of an ordinary hand shake? Little would Mallam know what that handshake had done to my brother. I could only trace this to humility. I also heard about the day(s) he went to drop his kids at school by himself when people would have expected his driver would do the job. A LG chairman wouldn’t even give me a handshake when we also invited him to our school. He didn’t even come, he sent a representative. I sincerely applaud El-Rufai’s humility.
And of course for those following El-Rufai on Twitter, you won’t be ostracised as he tries to respond to every tweet at him. He has even started a Q & A session. I remember my first tweet at him:
“Well I’m yet to accept your ideologies @elrufai but I think your regular presence here is applaud-able.” This actually forms the basis for this piece.
I respect Gen. Muhammadu Buhari for whatever good that has been ascribed to his name. However, as long as I have the ownership to my thoughts, none of the ex-generals especially those involved in military coup d’etat should be given room to govern the Nigeria state again. They never valued democracy, so why ask for the platform? Hence, I’d rather shoot myself in the foot than vote for a Buhari.
A simple question I’ve tweeted at El-Rufai thrice, yet he has refused to answer.
“U once condemned Buhari’s presidency and in 2011 we saw you campaign for him. Sir @elrufai have you clarified these conflicting stands?”
Perhaps his silence was intentional or unintentional, but I begin to wonder if our dear Mallam now has femnophobia– the fear of answering Femi’s questions.
However, let’s quickly see what we can bring out here:
A note titled El Rufai: Buhari should stick to facts by Muyiwa Adekeye
Media Adviser to Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, was published on El-Rufai’s Facebook wall on Monday, October 4, 2010 at 11:39pm. Here’s a link:
Few months later we got this from the news:
I remember that to err is human. But even if people change, what did Buhari who was ‘perpetually unelectable’ in 2010 suddenly do to deserve El-Rufai’s endorsement? Or did someone caution Mallam to tread gently on his fellow northern-home-state man? Mind you, I’m only musing!
El-Rufai is becoming a foremost critic of the present GEJ government. I have avidly followed him on Twitter where he shares his views on regular basis. Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. But then, is coughing in the theater a respiratory ailment? How far has Mallam’s critiques influenced the governance?
I shook my head when El-Rufai became the grand interviewee from the opposition during the fuel subsidy removal protests. For God’s sake, President Jonathan said he understands that the policy was a difficult one both for him and Nigerians, but it’s wrapped in a paradox that would later yield relief to all Nigerians.
What I think here is also akin to how El-Rufai bulldozed buildings in the FCT when he was the minister, in the name of restructuring Abuja to its original plan and to also embellish it. It was a difficult decision to take, Mallam had admitted. Likewise a painful one on those affected. But is Abuja not fine today and Mallam’s decision not applaudable?
Furthermore, it is noteworthy that anytime you ask El-Rufai especially on Twitter, if he will contest in 2015, he will without hesitating give you a sharp ‘NO’ response. But, considering the instability of our dear Mallam’s statements as highlighted above, don’t you think 2015 is a lot of months for Nasir el-Rufai to reconsider his present state of mind?
I revere the Mallam’s person. I also acknowledge the brilliance with which his name his associated. But I am skeptical about his ideologies. I have also tried to trace his political existence before 1999, and all I could see as he’s boastfully written it on his profile – is that between 1982 and 1998 he was busy running his el-rufai and Partners consulting firm (see it here http://el-rufai.org/about-nasir/).
Hold on a minute. Let us appreciate the likes of Dele Momodu (El-Rufai contemporaries) who fought the military government for almost five years (1994-1999), in the NADECO struggle which was the invisible hand behind almost every political development in Nigeria. The movement’s voice rang loudly and clearly in Nigeria and in hallowed diplomatic chambers across the world. For Nigeria ’s dictator General Sani Abacha, the fear of NADECO was the beginning of wisdom. These collective efforts unarguably returned democracy to Nigeria in 1999. Dele Momodu, Wole Soyinka and others went on exile from the military death trap, but it’s funny to hear El-Rufai that exiled himself from a harmless civilian Yar’adua government.
Back to the present, having followed – and still following – El-Rufai on Twitter, I’d like to report an unacceptable tweet he made on Satuday 11/2012. Here is it:
“@Hayzedious: BH r working for some northern politicians because they lost in d elections.” nonsense! BH working for PDP for Ijaw Republic!”
This is somewhat not in compliance with a supposedly brilliant mind.
‘Boko Haram are working for some northern politician because they lost in the elections’ is just a simple unofficial thought of that poor tweep. And Mallam had to bark at him ‘nonsense! Boko Haram working for PDP’ it would have been good if it ended here. He also added ‘for Ijaw republic.’ I don’t see how this tweet had invited the Ijaw into this. The tweep didn’t say ‘some politician from Daudawa of the Faskari Local Government Area in the northern state of Katsina(where Mallam was born).’
I sense sentiments, I sense tribalism, I sense a personal vendetta.
Finally, our dear Mallam has told us to wait for his upcoming memoir – his book, that would give answers to many unanswered questions. I also hope to see the clarifications I earlier asked for.
Because as it stands, with Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, there are more questions than answers.