How dare you Mallam Nasir El-Rufai!

Published:31 Jan, 2013

When I first heard of the insensitive act of Elrufai against Jesus and Christians, I just waved it away with the hand saying I did not believe he would cast aspersions on the Jesus Christ, whom Christians hold sacred. “Mallam has apologised”, I was also told. “Political correctness”, I muttered.

I did not in any way believe that Mallam Elrufai would deliberately or even accidentally fall into such a religious pit as to draw to himself, the anger of Christians in a nation where he has emerged, over time, as a vocal opposition. Particularly in an environment of greed, corruption, tribalism and religious intolerance.

I was still adamant that he did not say anything untoward regarding my Lord and saviour. I would not even consider the thought that Elrufai, a man I refer to as a Nigerian, would lose his decency to the point of insensitivity. I have followed the actions and utterances of this man and I was not in doubt that he was the stuff nationalists were made. Here was a man who stood firmly on the side of truth, reason and common sense and insisted on lines of action that put the interests of Nigerians above those of the Late President Yar Adua’s cabal. He stood with Nigerians to do the right thing. Mallam Elrufai, a muslim and a Northerner, stood with Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, (who was not a muslim, no, he was also not from the North) against the established institution of power in Nigeria.

I was still doubtful that Mallam would remotely cause offence to anyone on the basis of religion. This is because I am aware that Mallam Nasir Elrufai is also a christian! What! Yes, is that not what we call people who go to church? Well, Mallam goes to church when and where he finds a godly man on the pulpit. Only people who go to church are called Christians in Nigeria. For Elrufai, its about God, its not about whether the building is called church or mosque, its all about godliness, not religion. For him too, its about Nigeria not Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, etc.

You see, religion has divided us because we think and believe that God is in buildings. Yes God is in buildings but not in buildings made by human hands. He lives in the hearts of ALL humans, good or evil, believe it or not. Our men who present themselves as God’s spokespersons have not made it easier for Nigerians to understand that everyone is special before God, that we all have equal and unhindered access to God. Why would they?

If they did, we all will find out that we do not need anyone to access God. If they did, we would be free, we would experience the liberty that comes from being one with God and then, it would happen! Their personal kingdoms they have built in God’s name would crumble because you will no longer give life to the beast through your financial commitments to men’s kingdoms. It means that they would have to find day jobs to sustain themselves like Apostles Peter, Paul etc. did. Best of all, you will be free to serve your God who demands NOTHING from you and joy unspeakable would be yours.

We have had governments in this nation – the good, the bad and the ugly. At no time have we had one that shamelessly peddle religion as a weapon of governance. We have never seen one that has openly pitched its peace-loving citizens against each other on religious basis. It is an open secret that the leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria CAN are some of the most corrupt and rotten leaders in Nigeria. That’s to the credit of the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

This government, with the aid of its religious arm, has brought untold hardship on Nigerians. Nigerians have fallen from their position as the happiest people on earth to the saddest and unhappiest. We are no longer permitted to laugh. Joy has departed from our nation. There is pain everywhere as a great number of Nigerian people, old and young die of ailments that are easily curable while our political goons and their spouses indulge in cosmetic surgeries in luxurious foreign hospitals. There is pain everywhere as our roads become death traps for struggling Nigerians who are battling poverty with no support from the government. There is pain all over our nation as our leaders isolate Nigerians, preferring instead to shuttle about in private jets and rewarding their cohorts on pulpit with the same. There is pain everywhere as corruption is exposed and covered on a daily basis forcing David Cameron, the British Prime Minister to use the Nigerian government as an example of a government that is raping its people openly and shamelessly. There is pain in our land as men and women become overnight millionaires just for warming the beds of the hoodlums and touts who sit on our common wealth.

The Nigerian government has ensured that there is no more laughter in our nation. How dare you go against their wishes, how dare you laugh, Mallam Nasir Elrufai!

Laughter has become a scarce commodity in our nation until Mallam Elrufai laughed! A few uninformed religious bigots and agents of the hugely corrupt Nigerian authorities opined that it was very insensitive of the Mallam to laugh. What? Laugh? Yes that was all he did. Those who joined the bandwagon did not even know what happened or how it happened. Twitter illiterates who also double as religious neonates were on Facebook, declaring Fatwa on a man who just laughed!

We are being tele-guided by the likes of Dr Doyin Okupe and his ‘shadow ministers’, Abati and Omokri to become a nation of political correctness. We have lost our sense of humour. Being sensitive to the feelings of others is a very good attribute, one our government scores a huge ‘F’. However, we cannot sacrifice the truth on the altar of political correctness. We now have to say certain things in certain ways in other not to offend a few people. As a born-again Christian, I was not offended by the truth of the tweet by @zebbook, the young and courageous Nigerian youth who happens to be a follower of Jesus Christ too. What young Bukola did was follow the footsteps of Jesus by showing how evil the Nigerian government can be, a role Ayo Oritsejafor and his likes should be playing.

Dr Goodluck Jonathan had, in one of his lacklustre recorded “live” media chats said that Nigeria’s population has in part, 70% as its youth. What has he done to get our young people participate in governance seeing that the are in the majority in our nation?

In the days when Jesus walked the earth, he held to account those who ripped off his people, including religious leaders. Bukola did same and his tweet shows how highly he esteems Jesus. We cannot crucify an up-standing Nigerian youth for the mere fact that a few Nigerians do not have a good understanding of the English language. We must all know that Jesus and Allah are not invalids. They are not disabled. If they feel insulted by Bukola’s tweet or Elrufai’s laughter, they have the ability to turn these two into pillars of salt as a deterrent to those who tweet and laugh. We cannot continue to fight on God’s account. He does not need us to. If you have a God you have to fight for, something is wrong with the way you understand God.

Nigeria is in trouble and all the Dr. Jonathan administration is doing is to roll out an amateurish childlike propaganda machinery that equals that of a four year old. “Lets have a debate”, says Nigeria’s peddler of hope, Oby Ezekwesili. “Jealousy”, cries the childish Nigerian authorities. A Nigerian, a woman, challenges the Nigerian government to a wrestling match on issues affecting our nation and the government runs to mummy! C.H.I.C.K.E.N!

Instigating the malnourished puppies to attack a man who laughed is the height of idleness among the practitioners of gerontocratic oligarchy in our nation. These misinformed few must channel their energy into fighting to bring about the sort of democracy that looks after everyone, especially the weak and the poor, the vulnerable ones of our society. They must add their voices to the growing number of Nigerians, clamouring for democracy.

It is very clear that the irresponsible, corrupt and useless government in Nigeria is feeling the heat. It is true they have put on their kids gloves,
but the winners of this battle for the soul of our nation is predetermined. Everyone knows that it is a matter time before corruption and those who make a profession out of it are judged in our nation. On those days, their private jets would be grounded. The bottled up anger of a nation will be unleashed on those that have wiped laughter off our faces. On that day, we all, will laugh and it will no longer be a crime to laugh.

Lauretta Onochie
Follow me @Laurestar on Twitter.

  • Sir Farouk

    It amazes me everytime how people act blind to humor when it cones to religion. It’s like CAN could not recognize satire If it fell from heaven and slapped them in the face. Its a shame that people believe God needs to be defended. If they really believed in an all powerful God they will let him sort his affairs of who offended him and tender to their congregations. I believe El-Rufai did not need to apologize for a statement that first of all wasn’t wrong, second of all wasn’t his statement and third of all shouldn’t offend anyone. Political correctness dulls the blade of the truth…

  • sure

    When I read the RT, I said no this is not @elrufai this must be Akpors. I then asked Akpors, “why do u go by d name @elrufai? and in Tucor benedicto’s voice Akpors answered,…. ” one name is as good as the other”.My people. Make una leave all this defending of @elrufai, he made a mistake period and he has apologised, unless u ppl have alliance and intentions. Any o attack dog of the govt like okupe would have received it hotter than hades too, make we leave govt 4 dis one.

  • Waziri

    “@zebbook: If Jesus criticizes Jonathan’s govt, Maku/Abati/ ­Okupe will say he slept with Mary Madgalene.”
    How many postings have been shared or retweeted by all of us, why leaving the author who is very popular on twitter to attack someone different, you want to stir up religious and political crisis out ofyour selfish motives. Go back to yoursponsors and tell them, it has fail.


    Briliant! It is important for our youth to kwon that you can not fight for God, be it a muslim or christain and you should not make your self a tool in the hand of politicians.

  • Ilham.

    Enough is Enough. I wish it never turned out this way… Please Nigerians, let’s embrace peace and religious tolerance… By the will of the Almighty God, soon our rights to tweet, retweet and laugh will be granted back to us…or do anybody out there still retweet and laugh?

  • mahmud aminu mahmud

    great job…no need for appology because no punishment without a crime.

  • Akin

    Omojuwa, you’re very piety in this write up. CAN is right about this. This is not about extremism or Jonathanian Tendencies. Elrufai cannot even make that joke using muhammad. Like you wrote, how dare him crack a joke using Jesus. The king of kings. The alpha and omega. I hv nothing against Elrufai and as a matter of fact I looked forward to him ascending the presidency in d future. However, while he was engrossed with opposing Jonathan and cohorts, and we need people to, he made a costly mistake. No matter how you want to redress it, hide it, lock it up and throw the keys away, the Church is the bride of Jesus Christ and u can’t insult my husband and expect me to smile even if its a retweet. You repeat what you condone.

  • jude

    I found nothing wrong with wat Mallam said, we cannot fight for God and should not be the first to cast a stone. Any time general election is approaching, PDP will always find ways of using region to paint individuals, groups and opposition parties black before the masses. Nigerians, ignore wat mallam said.These are people who can change this country.

  • adebayo redeem

    We are all victims, is it about Mallam? Is it about d tweet? or our continues being use as tools of war,about d horrible situation of our nation d tweet is trying to explain we all can c d truth we aint blind until den we wil b free indeed

  • Ednah Emmanuel.

    The man made a costly mistake inthe process of making constructive criticizim. Let a christain in London retweet something of this nature n we will all watch Nigeria burn! If he never retweeted the tweet in question alot of us wouldnt have known of it. He is a public figure n should watch what he says… Whatever inspired this writer I dont know but the man had apologised. Meaning he saw where he erred; y the write up in his defense?

  • kel

    Just wasted five minutes of my time reading this junk from an otherwise intelligent writer. Still await your more intelligent articles. This does not deserve an engaging response.

  • ikwuoche

    I challenge all those who think malam shouldn’t have apologised to dare publish the new york cartoon on mohammed on twitter!!! Let us see how you will laff!

  • fadala
  • guze

    I’m aware that we have so many good writers and grammarians in Nigeria, but Does it really matter whether or not Mallam authored the tweet..?using the name “Jesus” to analyse an assertion of that manner is not right even if @zeebook meant well.I’m not trying to be a judge here but hey! let’s all learn to write what any layman would understand,Nigerians are not patient people_your tweets go don cause kasala b4 you realize.

  • fada
  • Brendan

    I hav respect for El-Rufai for his outspoken nature but am disappointed that he would approve of such a joke. We have seen whr the streets of Kano got burnt as a result of a joke using the name of Mohammed so I think he should have known better than to approve of such jokes. Its good that he appologised but its done and it has certainly changed how many Christian Nigerians look at him.

  • Kelechi

    Now El Rufai’s acolytes are falling over themselves writing nonsense like the one above in defence of a man who got himself into trouble by his own making. Now tell me, how is President Jonathan to be blamed for El Rufai’s foolishness? El Rufai showed poor judgement in retweeting that tweet. He should have known better. Now he has apologised which is ok, so why write nonsense in his defence? Why accuse President Jonathan?

  • Eme

    And if u have never had… Disrespect for God can cause a righteous anger.

  • Henry

    This will be my very last input in this non-starter of a debacle.
    Let me start by saying neither Zebbok and Mallam Nasir Rl Rufai committed no crime, either religious or political, that is in a society where religion has not clouded the sense of reasoning of men.
    Actually, Zeebbok emphasised the unarguable importance of the person of Jesus Christ. His tweet simply pointed to the fact that the GEJ administration will not mind demonizing even the most important of person or institution that we hold dear in a bid to assure of their own longevity.
    Why all the angst at a totally harmless comment? Many of the christian-jihadists who rose up in hard threatening armageddon on anyone who laughed at the tweet are still the ones who will at night go haggle with call girls, cheat and defraud their neighbours and hold grudges against their brothers.
    Enough of this hypocrisy please.

  • Mitchell

    Ok let’s leave tge issue of whether we should defend our God or not. The tweet was not insulting to God or Jesus Christ at all. In fact it highlighted the impeccable and impeacheable character of Jesus Christ and the desperate methods of the present administration in covering up their mess. As for those saying if the joke had been about Mohammed, crises would have ensued for sure. Well you are probably right. Nigerians muslims have been known to be excited over the littlest of things. But that just highlights the beauty of christianity. It’s about love and forgiveness n religious toleranc. Not violence. I don’t mean to cast aspersions on the muslim religion but some factions are known to be extremely violent and intolerant. Please don’t let us christians be like that.

  • http://Website Ohida

    I learnt d actual tweet came from a christian. Why leave him\her out only to attack someone who only retweet? Perhaps bcos he’s not a christian, did u all love God as much as is being shown here? Laughs!

  • idris mallami

    This is a typical 9ja case.making an issue where there’s none.I see nothing wrong with el-rufa’is twit.but CAN with the backing of FGN make it an issue.until nigerians learn how to tolerate one another,we’ll keep having problems.

  • bdouns

    In Islam, one is not considered to be a muslim untill he believes in Allah, believe in Allah’s Angels (Gabriel and co), believe in His books (10 Commandments, Psamls, Gospel and Qur’an), and believe in all His Prophets (Muhammad, JESUS CHRIST, Adam, Noah, David, Moses, Abraham, Joseph, etc) peace be upon them all… I believe many non muslims don’t know this! Thus, for any muslim to make or laugh about this kind of a nasty joke on Jesus Christ, no matter the intention, is not only blasphemous but could indeed nullify his faith and incur, on himself, the wrath of Allah! May the Lord forgive us our shorcomings/trespasses and guide our utterances. Ameen!

  • Ezeh David. O

    Damage control! All to no avail. Mallam has just learnt the hard way the time honoured saying that silence is golden. He has just re-tweeted one too many. He has had a field day disparaging this government & did not know where to draw the line!

  • Dan

    I read your comment about el fuai and one wonders where is your stand? The man in question has apologized to Christians and that was all. To me you are trying to defend what was wrong whether to the Christian faith or Islam. Elrfai has a lot of prominent Christian friends and followers on this page, when it have to do with religion in this country forget it. Remember the cartoon about the prophet sometime last year in Europe some many people were killed. Am not an advocate of religion riots, but maturity to condone mockery is key. Advise the former minister that he has to avoid comments that will tarnished his name. Thank you

  • http://Website Brightzeal

    Nigeria is full of confused and foolish people,country where truth doesn’t see light of the day in any event.
    Until we learn to coexist as one, We will never make head way,.The blame of one another in Nigeria will never take us to any level of accomplishment.
    Race and Religion has torn us apart,God deliver my country.

  • John

    This has just shown that Nigerians can be very constructive even in the face of hardship.Permit me to say that a lot of Nigerian Youths look up to Mallam El Rufai as a role Model, but this has again shown that no one person has monopoly of knowledge. To some people including me, mallam would have understood that this is a circular society, n that this would have been a joke taken too far bc of how sensitive we take religion in this clime. Even the Bible says don’t use the name of your God in vain. He may have simply in his usual manner overlooked the tweet and all these would not have come to be. There are people that the lacklustre perfomance of this govt has beclouded their sense of reasoning, so they take any sane position on issues from anybody as govt agent. My people we should know when to draw a line, and always be constructive in our arguements because we must continue to learn from each other to make our country a better one. I still believe that we shall continue to push them for a change. God bless 9ja.

  • Eyen Akwa Ibom

    Mine is very simple: our Muslem brothers wouldn’t take it kindly if same was said agaisnt Mohamed that’s my arguement. I respect Mallam a lot and thank God he apologized. I’m baffled why @Laurestar can’t for God’s sakes just respect that!

  • @sinzuSSG

    I think the only mistake elrufai made was to apologise for LAUGHING ……. Do we now nid “FREEDOM OF LAUGHTER” to laugh in nigeria?

  • http://Website Peter

    @Sir Faruk: “Its a shame that people believe God needs to be defended”. Really? A muslim is writing dis? Honestly I still think its a typo!

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