#KakandaTemple: El-Rufai: Memoir of a Political Scam Artist – by Gimba Kakanda

Published:23 Feb, 2013

Mallam Nasir El-Rufai is a saint. El-Rufai’s intellectual and managerial wisdom is unmatched by any living thing that has ever been in power in Nigeria. Those are the things we discover in his memoir, The Accidental Public Servant. TAPS is not only a celebration of an individual’s narcissism but a revelation of the destructive elitism on whose back this polarised nation suffers. But because TAPS documents the political tragedies we have witnessed since the coming of this present democracy in which the author was a privileged actor, we must repaint our triumphal arch to welcome this confession of an insider.

 

I won’t advise any hypertensive person to open the book, if not for the author’s inability to contain his large ego in this overtly expressive tome but for his exposé of the financial scams and abuse of power by the political elite who, despite declared differences and public opposition, are actual friends and family in the closet. El-Rufai reveals, somewhat unwittingly, that Nigeria is just a chessboard on which the masses are manipulated and taken for granted.

 

In TAPS, there is President Obasanjo who wants to overstay, the lawmakers who abandon their duties and scramble for complicity, General Babangida who is just an expired buffoon, Nuhu Ribadu an unreliable confidant who is also an unprincipled anti-corruption crusader and Atiku Abubakar who is a smooth criminal—everybody wears the garb of a devil in this book. One, though, hears a man too angry, as an opposition party member, to be decorous.

 

El-Rufai has guts, and he is really arrogant about his illusory intellect and academic exploits. He makes everyone around him, including his boss Obasanjo, seem dumb as he keeps screaming about his A-grades at Barewa College where the late President Yar’Adua whom he portrays as unserious student and chain-smoker managed to leave with good grades which seemed to have shocked El-Rufai. It doesn’t matter that El-Rufai didn’t even meet Yar’Adua at the school.

 

Similarly, the literary prowess which he plays down in his major case of condescension in the book—with a claim that he was better with figures, as though he had propounded a mathematical theory—was later overblown in his boast that he wrote a speech “single-handedly” for the then military Head of State General Abdulsalam Abubakar. He never lets you forget he graduated with a first class honours degree; perhaps that is because he is the only one who has ever done so? Nor does El-Rufai fail to remind you that he is a penniless Ghandi who, after his notoriety as FCT Minister, couldn’t afford a stay in Dubai. He could only afford having his children at elite schools in Maryland and London.

 

TAPS is built on a diseased mindset. It romanticises the author’s intellectual wisdom as the flight that conveyed him to our cloudy political sky. But there was no accident in El-Rufai’s public service career; the author is just too dumb to recognise nepotism for what it is. What he optimistically calls an accident was in fact an invitation from his elder brother’s friend to serve as a member of the advisory council in General Abdulsalam’s transition government. Let us examine El-Rufai’s own words:

 

“I subsequently learnt from a mutual friend that (General Abdulsalam) Abubakar had remembered me because I had met him a couple of times in the course of my quantity surveying career and MAY HAVE (emphasis mine) debated the role of the military in politics and governance. My GUESS (emphasis mine) is the Head of State THOUGHT (emphasis mine) he needed contrarian views to enrich his policy decisions… (p. 53)”

 

You don’t need a language tutor to see through the lame excuses and reasons given in the excerpt above, especially the self-indicting words in upper case: There was an unnamed mutual friend who revealed what had escaped the author’s memory; and in the use of “may”, El-Rufai, who remembers page-long dialogues, is clearly being economical with the truth.

 

Note that El-Rufai bases his reason on a conjecture by the use of “guess”, pondering the so-called accident that earned him a slot in that team. So you may be eager to know how he guessed a man’s thought. General Abdulsalam didn’t say it. In Nigeria, we know that political opportunism is facilitated by ethnic, religious and regional cronyism. Yes, you only need to be member of a certain group to make it to that cycle!

 

And as a member of that team, El-Rufai justifies his own brand of “cronyism” on recommending for ministerial appointment a man whose eligibility was built around what El-Rufai too calls “rumour mill”. The nominee, a suspended Deputy Governor at CBN, Alhaji Ismaila Usman, whom El-Rufai claims he had met just once, was rumoured to have refused to be an accomplice in a financial scam ordered by the late General Sani Abacha. This selection criterion, which is exactly the practice that brought El-Rufai too on board General Abdulsalam’s transition government, is an undeniable nepotism.

 

I always campaign for right to expression and even recently have written to defend El-Rufai from his political antagonists on the alleged blasphemy accusation and other matters. I had maintained that his past in public service must not be allowed to be used to deny him a right to political activism.

 

But TAPS is an explosion of that egalitarian utilitarianism on mine and the outrage of that belief is a welcome development from me, in my barricade amongst the citizens of common sense. Our resolve now as citizens is to study and challenge what elitism does to this country. The arguments in support of El-Rufai’s elite-aggrandising policies while he was FCT Minister fail anytime we have a gander of the effects they had on the common people of Abuja, especially the “subaltern” residents who were never compensated, whose lives were destroyed by that insensitivity to our socioeconomic structure.

 

There are only three saints in El-Rufai’s book: His late daughter Yasmin, elder brother Bashir and the countless people he introduces as “mentors”. But any attentive reader would understand that El-Rufai who couldn’t resign in a government known for reigns of corruptions, despite his unsuccessful attempts to justify his stay, is apparently suffering from Out-of-Office syndrome. His portrayals of Yar’Adua, especially when he engaged the services of foreign lobbyists to make Yar’Adua appear like a military leader, betrays the honesty of his activism.

 

The El-Rufai who afforded such media stunts wasn’t broke as declared in this memoir. That politics is too cheap for Nigerians. The trick in this new turn of El-Rufailitics is to wallop his fellow members of the elite class just to earn the sympathy and trust of the “Suffering Class” and, more importantly, the Twitter-based youths many of whom only think that Nigeria is just the size of their blogs. One thing El-Rufai fails to acknowledge is: Though a crocodile may stay with a community of alligators, it can never become one. May God save us from us!

 

 

– by Gimba Kakanda

@gimbakakanda (on Twitter)

  • Precious Olu

    WOW.. This is simply brilliant, Gimba. Never thought someone would ever reduced Nasir El-Rufai to a pitiable thing.

    I’m beginning to love Nigeria again!

  • Haruna Sanusi

    I’m neither for or against El-Rufai, but I failed to see a balanced review of TAPS. Please do a comprehensive and balanced review instead of this highly one sided commentary. This will benefit many who may not have the opportunity to read the book. Thank you.

  • moshood Isah

    As the reviewer indicated that el rufai never said anything negative about himself, I also love as the review was just critics and no appraisal..

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Mom Who Went Viral For Looking Just Like Her Daughters Shares Her Secret Beauty Tip

Last week, a photo of 35-year-old Tina Brown and her teen daughters Kyla and Kaylan completely dumbfounded the Internet. You see, Ms. Brown appears so ageless that people could not figure out which one of the three gorgeous ladies in the selfie was the mother. So what's the secret to her eternal youth? Does she wipe her face with an ice cube every morning, like Marilyn Monroe? Does she bathe in a tub of hot...

Olajumoke Gets Furnished Luxury Apartment In Lagos (PHOTOS)

The famous bread seller turned model now owns a luxury apartment in Lagos. Olajumoke Orisaguna’s remarkable story keeps getting amazing each day as a construction company offered her a furnished luxury apartment in Lagos and an enrollment into Poise finishing school.

Army Frees 275 Suspected Terrorists

The Nigerian Army has released 275 persons detained following suspicion of being involved in terrorist activities. Forty-nine out of the detainees are women while 22 are minors. Two Nigeriens and two Cameroonians are also among those released. Theatre Commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Hassan Umaru, handed over the detainees not found culpable to the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, in a ceremony at the 7th Division Headquarters Maimalari Barracks. “In line...

Zika Virus Persisted In Man’s Semen For 2 Months

A man in Britain who was infected with Zika while traveling to the Cook Islands showed evidence of the mosquito-borne virus in his semen for two months, health officials said Friday. The finding raises new questions for health authorities as they scramble to learn more about Zika — linked to a surge in birth defects in Brazil — and the risk of transmission through sex. The case involved a 68-year-old man who was infected with...

Saraki’s CCT Trial Begins March 10

Trial of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on 13 counts of false assets declaration is to resume March 10 before the Code of Conduct Tribunal. Our correspondent confirmed that the CCT ?issued hearing notices and served same on parties to the case on Friday. This followed a letter written on behalf of the Federal Government by the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), intimating the tribunal of the recent judgment of the Supreme...

This Woman Allegedly Vomits, Excretes 80 Wraps Of Cocaine At Abuja Airport

A 48 year-old woman caused a mild drama at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja after she allegedly vomitted 15 wraps of white, powdery substances that tested positive for cocaine. Saidat Hassan, a mother of three,? was arrested at the central screening section of the departure hall during the screening of passengers on an Egypt Airline flight to Jedda, Saudi Arabia, en-route Cairo. She was immediately apprehended by officers of the National Drug Law...

Possible Locations Of Chibok Girls Identified– Air Force

The Nigerian Air Force says it has been able to identify possible locations of the abducted Chibok girls. The Director of Public Relations at the Nigerian Air Force, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, said that the Air Force is abstaining from attacking the area to make sure that the girls are not hit. He explained that the latest aerial bombardment of Sambisa forest had been aimed at the logistics base of the Boko Haram sect and not areas...

Kwara Govt. Pays N2.4bn To Contractors Handling Road Projects

The Kwara Government says it has paid about N2.4billion to contractors handling over 35 road projects spread across the state. Alhaji Aro Yahaya, the State Commissioner for Works and Transport, stated this on Friday in Ilorin after inspecting some of the projects.   Yahaya said that the contractors were paid in order to fasten the completion of the projects before the commencement of the rains.   According to him, contractors handling road projects in llesha-gwanara, Share OkeOde, Offa-lra and Erinlle-llemona roads had earlier received...

NCC To Sanction Telecom Operators Who Defraud Nigerians Through Dropped Calls

Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC), on Friday, said the Commission would sanction telecommunication operators who defraud Nigerians through dropped-calls.     Danbatta said this during a meeting with newsmen from the North West, North Central and FCT in Kano, where he presented the Commission’s eight-point agenda.     According to him, dropped-call rate is the fraction of the telephone calls which due to technical reasons, are cut off before the speaking parties finish their conversation.   This, he said, were being used...

Supreme Court Adduces Reasons For Wike, Ibikunle’s Return As Governors

The Supreme Court on Friday gave reasons while Nyesom Wike was affirmed as the validly elected governor of Rivers.   Justice Mohammad Mahmud, who presided, held that the Governorship Electoral Petition Tribunal that handled the case swayed INEC guideline on the use of card readers for the election.   The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) also held that the tribunal also denied Wike fair hearing.   The Justice said: "While the court commends the introduction of card readers, the innovation, however, cannot supersede the voters...

Budget Defence: House Decries Uncompleted Projects In FCT

The House of Representatives Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has decried the high number of uncompleted projects in the territory in spite of huge allocations for the projects.   Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Herman Hembe (APC -Benue) expressed his displeasure on Thursday in Abuja at the 2016 Priority Budget Defence of the FCT.   He listed the projects visited by the committee on oversight as: Gurara Falls Road, Lower Usman Dam, Vice President’s residence among others. Hembe expressed dissatisfaction at the...

Gov. Wike Suspends Commissioner For Finance, Accountant-General

Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers, on Friday, suspended the Commissioner for Finance and Accountant General of the State.   This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant to the Governor (Electronic Media), in Port Harcourt.   It said that Dr Fred Kpakol, the commissioner and Sir Abere Dagogo, the Accountant General, had been suspended by the governor.   It said the suspension took immediate effect, but did not give any reason for the suspension of the two senior government officials.     (NAN)

Gov. Okowa Okays Establishment Of Modular Refineries In Delta

Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Friday approved the establishment of modular refineries in the state to create jobs for its teaming unemployed youths.     The governor announced the approval when Mr Isaac Wright, the Managing Director of Wright Global Group, and his team paid him a visit in Asaba.     Okowa said that establishing the refineries in the oil-rich riverine communities would place them close to source of their raw materials.   He said that apart from providing job opportunities for the people, the...

Plateau To Reduce Dependence On Federal Allocation – Lalong

Plateau governor, Mr Simon Lalong, says his state is already diversifying its economy in order to reduce dependence on allocation from Federation Account.   He made this known in Abuja on Friday at the All Progressives Congress Media Roundtable.   The governor said that development of the state was on course but said that it was gradual.   He appealed to Nigerians to be patient and give President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration at least a year for the change being yearned for to be felt.   "We know...

Tunisia To Get $560m EU Loan To Boost Economy

The European Union said on Friday it would give a loan of half a billion euros ($560 million) to boost Tunisia’s economy.   In a statement in Tunis, the union said the assistance was part of broader efforts by the EU to help Tunisia overcome the serious economic difficulties that beset it.   The EU said the assistance came at the request of Tunisia and would take the form of medium-term loans on favourable financial terms.   Few weeks ago, an unemployed man committed suicide...

President Buhari Welcomes Central African Support Against Boko Haram

President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will partner the 11-member Economic Community of Central Africa States (ECCAS) to rid Nigeria and its neighbours of the menace of Boko Haram.   The president made the statement in Abuja on Friday when he received a message from President Obiang Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea.   Buhari said he welcomed the effort to organise a joint meeting between ECCAS and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) with a view to coordinating their responses to the...

Lassa Fever Vaccine Trial In Nigeria Right – Expert

Prof. Dennis Agbonlahor, a member of the National Committee on the Control of Lassa fever, says the trials of newly developed Lassa virus vaccine in the country was a welcome idea. Agbonlahor said this while presenting a paper titled "Combating Lassa fever: A National Health Challenge", organised by the University of Benin on Friday in Benin. He said that the vaccine developed by a combined team from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases and the Public Health Agencies...

#PAUSIBILITY: Nigeria, Whirlpool of Executive Scoundrels and The Change That May Never Come by Adebayo Coker

I made a New Year resolution to try as much as possible not to burden myself with anything that may cause grief in whatever guise but my beloved nation wouldn’t stop throwing lumps of it my path. If you notice this will be my first post this year. I have tried to evade the many punches but I just couldn’t help it no more. Especially when Na’lie arrogantly...

INEC Adopts Simultaneous Accreditation, Voting In Plateau Rerun Polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has approved the use of simultaneous accreditation and voting for Feb. 20 supplementary and rerun elections for three state constituencies in Plateau.   The Head, Voter Education of INEC in Plateau, Mr Osaretin Imahiyereobo, said in a statement in Jos on Friday that the elections would hold in Langtang South, Pankshin North and Pankshin South.   In the statement, Imahiyereobo said the procedure would commence by 8a.m. and end at 2p.m.   "Only voters with valid Pemanent Voter Cards,...

HIV/AIDS: NACA Advise Nigerians To Play Safe On Valentine’s Day

Prof. John Idoko, Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), has advised Nigerians to love carefully and play safe as they celebrate the Valentine’s Day.   Idoko gave the advice in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Friday.   It urged people to take full charge of their health by knowing their HIV/AIDS status and encouraging their partners to avoid risky behaviours that might expose them to the AIDS virus. "Besides the excitement of the Day, people of all...

Yabatech Expels 29 Students For Exam Malpractice, Fake Results

The Yaba College of Technology (YabaTech), Lagos, says it has expelled 29 students for presenting fake certificates.   Mrs Titilayo Obadimu, the Deputy Registrar (Academics), said on Friday in a statement that of the number, some were expelled for examination misconduct during the 2014/2015 first semester.   She said the academic board had approved the expulsion of the students.   According to Obadimu, using fake certificates to secure admission contravene the rules and regulations of the institution.   "The board considered the report on students with fake...