President Jonathan’s Competency And Elrufai’s Sour Grapes By Reno Omokri
Having read Malam Nasir Elrufai’s interview in the SaturdaySun of September 14, 2013, I am compelled to present facts to set the records straight in order that the general public is not misled by the machinations of a man who is in dire need of prayers and perhaps psychological assistance.
Nasir Elrufai said “Nothing can make Jonathan succeed. He is grossly incompetent, he doesn’t listen, he doesn’t even understand the issues. I am sorry! I know the man more than those that are shouting with Jonathan because when he was my friend, none of them even knew him. I knew Jonathan as a deputy governor in 2002. That was when I first met him and we have been relating. So, all these new found Jonathan lovers should just shut up. I know him and I know what he can do and what he cannot do. So, please, they should just leave me alone. Those that want jobs can go and take jobs. I don’t want”.
Now, let me start by saying that Nasir Elrufai lied when he said this and there is documentary evidence to prove this. For instance, contrary to what he said in this interview, Nasir Elrufai at a meeting with Ambassador John Campbell in April of 2007 said that the then Vice Presidential nominee of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan “is clean and honest”. Going further, Elrufai told the ambassador that “Governor Jonathan was the only candidate that met Obasanjo’s guidelines- honesty and Ijaw”. Unknown to Elrufai, the ambassador kept a record of their conversation which is now a public record in America.
Beyond that, Nasir Elrufai, who had gone into voluntary exile under the presidency of Malam Umaru Musa Yar’adua after he was accused of corruption and abuse of office while he was minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, felt safe enough to return to Nigeria as soon as President Jonathan ascended to power.
When Elrufai returned to Nigeria, in 2010, he visited the President at Aso Rock Presidential Villa on May 11, 2010, and was the first major political figure to call on President Jonathan to contest for the 2011 presidential election. Elrufai also praised President Jonathan openly.
The Holy Bible says in James 1:8 “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways”. I think this biblical verse best describes Nasir Elrufai. Elrufai in this his latest interview showers encomiums on Major General Muhammadu Buhari saying “I think that where Nigeria is today, only someone like Buhari, with the experience of having run the country before, and having run it along certain principles of discipline, integrity and accountability, that Nigeria needs”.
However, this is what the same Elrufai had to say about Buhari on October 6 2010 ” Mallam El-Rufai wishes to remind General Buhari that he has remained perpetually unelectable because his record as military head of state, and afterwards, is a warning that many Nigerians have wisely heeded. His insensitivity to Nigeria’s diversity and his parochial focus are already well-known. In 1984, Buhari allowed 53 suitcases belonging to his ADC’s father to enter Nigeria unchecked at a time the country was exchanging old currency for new. Against all canons of legal decency, he used retroactive laws to execute three young men for drug-peddling after they were convicted by a military tribunal and not regular courts of law. Buhari was so high handed that he gave himself and his officials immunity even from truthful reporting. That obnoxious Decree 4, against which truth was no defence, was used to jail journalists and attempt to cow the media as a whole. That tyrannical legislation shows the essence of his intolerance. These are facts of recent history. The story of counter-trade and import licensing, the cornerstone of Buhari’s stone-age economic strategy and those whose interests it served, is a tale for another day.”
Now, how does one man go from warning the nation about Buhari as a man unfit to govern Nigeria and one who is perpetually unelectable because of his parochial nature to saying that he is the man that can best lead this nation?
Is it not obvious to all that there is more than one personality in possession of the mind and soul of this man called Nasir Elrufai? Can any sane person trust the words of a man who is so unstable?
Today, Elrufai, perhaps banking on what he thinks is the short memory of
Nigerians is attempting to rewrite history. But it is such a difficult task to paint over the truth with a lie.
Nasir Elrufai wanted something from the President which was why he visited him at the Presidential Villa to heap unsolicited praise on the president in 2010. When he did not get what he wanted, he became bitter and since the days of yore when the fox that could not get the grapes tagged them ‘sour grapes’ to mask its frustration, it has always been the habit of persons who cannot compete on the basis of ideas to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. Thus, Elrufai, having run out of ideas, has tagged this administration as ‘incompetent’. But as they say in law, Res Ipsa Loquitor, (thefacts speaks for themselves).
In just this past month alone, we have seen a fulfilment of two major Jonathanian promises. The Akanu Ibiam Airport is now officially an International Airport as its facilities have been upgraded to meet ICAO standards and it received its first international commercial flight. Also, the rail services have been revived from Apapa Port to the North.
In these two instances, the Jonathan administration has put money back in the wallets of Nigerian citizens. Every time someone flies internationally from the Akanu Ibiam Airport, he saves sixty thousand Naira that would have been spent paying for connecting flights to Lagos, Port Harcourt or Abuja. And every time you receive a container by rail in Northern Nigeria from Apapa Port, you would have saved perhaps fifty thousand Naira that would have been spent on additional cost from hauling your container by road.
And this is just for last month. Time would not permit me to highlight the 153 Almajiri schools built in every state of the North to serve our children who are engaged in the almajirinciform of Qu’ranic education (a total of 400 are to be delivered), or the ongoing reconstruction (not repair) of the Lagos-Ibadan road for which 167 billion has already been reserved to prevent the project being an abandoned project, or the dredging of the River Niger up to Baro in Niger state to make that port accessible to ships, or the establishment of the Green Belt Zone along Nigeria’s Northern borders to end desertification, or the signing of the HYPADEC bill into law to enable the people of the Hydro Electric producing areas benefit from their God given resources, or the current massive multi billion Naira efforts to save the Lake Chad from drying up. This is besides the fact that those states which did not have a federal university prior to President Jonathan’s ascendancy now have at least one university, thanks to this administration’s establishment of nine new universities.
I have identified these projects on purpose because they were meant to be priority projects of yore but were however left unattended until one man called Jonathan Goodluck entered the scene.
Why has it taken an “incompetent” President Jonathan to grow Nigeria’s economy at over 6% per annum since he ascended to the presidency? Why has it taken an “incompetent” administration to get Nigeria to be promoted from a “Low Income Nation” to a “Middle Income Nation” by the World Bank? Again, it took an incompetent administration to ensure Nigeria won its first African Cup of Nations in 19 years. If previous administrations had been this ‘incompetent’, then Nigeria would have long since overtaken South Africa as Africa’s largest economy, but we did not achieve this feat until an ‘incompetent’ Jonathan was brought to office by the votes of over 22 million Nigerians.
In this latest interview, Elrufai boasts that he is a “self-made man”. Even this statement is a sad reflection of the irreligious state of Nasir Elrufai’s mind. People who say they are “self made” should read The Book of Daniel and see what God did to Nebuchadnezzar after he made such a boast. Nobody is self made. Does it make mathematical sense to believe that the God who has numbered the hairs on your head has no input into the opportunities that came your way?
In a Wikileaks document, an identified American diplomat revealed that Elrufai was “personally known to him to be homeless” before he got into government. Now Elrufai has never sued the diplomat for libel or slander. But today, this man who was known by a U.S. diplomat to be homeless now boasts that ” I was already a self-made man when I came into government”. Since when did homelessness amount to being “self-made”?
And Elrufai further showed his disconnect with the realities around him when he boasted in his interview that “there is no one who sat at the table with us when we were making these decisions and advancing these arguments that have come out to say that what I wrote there [his book, The Accidental Public Servant] is not true”. This statement is so easy to demolish. As at the last count, the following persons have come out very publicly on the front and back pages of newspapers to say that what Elrufai wrote is a lie; former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, former Economics and Financial Crimes Commission Chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, former Central Bank Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, former Imo State Governor, Ikedi Ohakim amongst others. In fact, Nuhu Ribadu was reported in the Punch of February the 19th 2013 to have said that “There is a huge integrity deficiency” in Elrufai’s book!
Does Elrufai have such a record for truth that we can say that his word outweighs the words of these gentlemen?
In any case, let me conclude by saying that Malam Nasir Elrufai has problems that may not be known to the generality of Nigerians and certainly by his current bed fellows in the All Progressive Congress. In his book, The Accidental Public Servant, Elrufai had terrible and nasty things to say about those whose backs he had already climbed on and reserved encomiums for those whose backs he needs to climb on. That alone speaks volumes of his character and should alert his current associates to the proverb that a slave who sees his fellow buried in shallow grave should know that he would receive the same treatment when his time comes.
Reno Omokri is Special Assistant (New Media) to the President.
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