El-Rufai: Memoir of a Political Scam Artist

 

TAPS Cover

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!

Gimba Kakanda

Blueprint Newspaper (page 2; 22/02/2013)

@gimbakakanda (on Twitter)

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35 thoughts on “El-Rufai: Memoir of a Political Scam Artist

  1. Say what you will Gimba, genuine nigerians see beyond you stringing words together and demonstrating hypocrisy by committing the same crime you’re alleging someone else of. Who made you a Judge? If you’re priveledged to wear such shoes, then let us hear your own side of the story. Till then, learn to own up to bravery when you see it being portrayed.

    • WOW… El-Rufai has actually done a bad PR for himself. This book, which is supposed to be a PR book, has become a PR disaster. Gimba’s review is the first objective and unbiased take on this scam artist of a politician. Well done, man.

      NB: You write well! 😉

  2. El-Rufai is one respectable person that we must all admire.
    Paid posts like this is never something new to us.
    His intergrity remain intact. Your post is aimed at blackpainting our most trusted man behind the perceived nigerias‘ next leader (Buhari) non of the reader will subscribe to what you are saying.

  3. I can only but say “God bless you Gimba” for this in-depth truistic treatise of the book/and author of a man so over-bloated by his ego!

  4. Kakanda, El Rufai is a product of our decayed society, but to be fair to him he has tried to change the way things are done even if we do not agree with his methods always. He has shown that brains and uprightness are required in government. We don’t have saints in Nigeria government even if you go in as one, the corruption and lack of initiatives will rob off on you. Mallam, tried to make a difference and that I will argue we have to give it to him. Believe me Kakanda, it’s much easier to still billions in Nigeria than to attempt correcting the Abuja master plan.

    We only have a few of them, a few good men and Mallam is on of them even if he is not one of us.

    • Thank you for saying the truth. I wonder if this writer has the guts to even challenge his local government chairman., not to talk of the Abuja powers that be in Abuja. Maybe Kakanda just wants to be noticed by Nigerian government. It will not be a bad idea after all

  5. I need to read the book,but i believe your expose and depth of breath, in analysing an enigma or phenonmenon like El-Rufal! This man, is not just Out of Power,he is looking for Power,which makes him dangerous!

  6. The good thing is that you read the book. really doesn’t matter what you say here… it is quite obvious you are obsessed and jealous of the man El Rufai. Your words are venomous and full of hate. Find your own way mister, running someone down isn’t going to do it for you.

  7. el-Rufai has his good side like most people but he can’t escape the tag of opportunism that has been placed on him and that seems to fit very well. If he was principled enough, he should have made his feelings known when he was still relevant which would have set him apart from the large number of ex-public officers in Nigeria who only speak the truth when they are out of the system. He also needs to explain why he is now Buhari’s lieutenant when he once said the General was unelectable.

  8. Kakanda you’ve simply done what everyone that is commenting below should do, you perception or treatise on TAPs shows that you are not as gullible as some of us here, I advice the likes of Zarah et-etal to eschew their bitterness and read the book too and possibly make informed reviews instead being an ardent or blind follower. Gimba am sure has stood up for Mallam when some opportunist and bigots tried to potray him as Muslim extremist to score cheap political gain. And Elrufai am sure is aware that the very day he decided to write his Memoirs means he is prepared to be criticised… Good Job Gimba. But I still believe Mallam has done a good Job in exposing what hitherto had been mere rumour,beer parlour talks and fill in Gossips of the theatrics in the seat of power.. Save for Yar’adua most of those mentioned are still alive, I expect them to pick their pen and put to paper and tell their side of story, then the common man will know the caliber of people we have as leaders. For the rest of us, it is better we read that book too

  9. It is surprising how a certain Gimba Kakanda whom I have never met can so succinctly express the same opinion I have held about Mallam El Rufai. I particularly like the part about those terribly naïve bloggers whose recently found voice is wrongly applied. This writer knows what he is talking about and many Nigerians share his opinion. The least we can do is to advice the mallam to deflate some of his ‘saintly ego’ if he wants to be a true leader…

  10. Eventhough I did not came accross El Rufai’s book”the accidental public servant” but I have the perception that, he el Rufai is just marketing himself politically in copying the style of Barrack Obama whose auto biography “the audacity of hope” help him in no small way in becoming the Presidet of United States.

  11. No matter what El-Rufai’s Voltrons make of this, this review is balanced and objective. Nobody can take from your brilliance, Gimba. Just as you argued out here, El-Rufai is a scam artist. We read between the lines!!

  12. my questions.1. what prevented el-rufai from resigning and make these assertions when he was a minister?
    2. for those calling Gamba an unwanted jugde, for his expose, el-rufai was not only a judge in his book, he was the police, the court clerk, he sounded like the courtroom itself, he even played God.
    my conclusion, this man is a low class, lower than Gamba portrayed thim to be, that can only thrive in a concussion country like Nigeria. his action is likened to that of a man that joins women to a gossiping spree after real men are thru with a fight and left the scene.

  13. Idiots lol. Gimba. Who are you? What are your credentials. Find a job and feed your family and most importantly supply nutrients to your brain. Read the book if you can fathom it which I doubt you are capable and shut the hell up. Frustrated idiotic ignorant bigots. U and your cronies if you have the intelligence write your own book and put down your case not that any publishing house will even comprehend your perspective. Joblessness needs company. Gather your jobless companies of idiots and write a book if you can. Ignorance never ceases to amaze me. Why only include selective excerpts? Hypocrite. Doing this for a plate of rice and chicken stew from your sponsors. I don’t blame you. Ask God for guidance. Some are just not chosen.

    • @ Bashir El-Rufai: Are we surprised by your brother-saving post? No-oh, so obvious you don’t have a speck of intelligence to take Gimba up. Telecoms thief. Losers. We know the source of your blood money ai, you and your cohorts defrauded Nigeria through shoddy deals in telecoms. God will punish you and whoever eats from your blood money.

    • Lmao. Elrufai’s son came out in defense. I do not blame you, I blame those idiots who accepted a job from your father to tweet every minute of the day. You are somewhere in London gathering more knowledge, getting prepared to bounce into leadership like your father did. while idiots like Lanreville, Ayourb d old jobless fool, seun , ekekee, true nija ,olusegun and many others are scrambling for financial gains to tweet every minute of the day for your angry and desperate father. . The only reason i will leave OMOJUWA out this is because he is creating a brand name for himself already unlike these minions even if he is a CPC agent as well. These crumb eating fools are looking out for political appointments after the opposition might have won. For a Thirty something year old man like ayourb, i cannot but wonder how he feeds his family by tweeting every minute of the day. Please advise him to find a life. I saw him during TAPS launching and he was looking all dirty and sweaty. Foolish boy boy.

  14. Great work kakanda. he dips his hand in the cookie jar when no one is looking and raises an alarm when he finds someone else doing the same thing he had earlier done just to exonorate himself. As Nigerians,the day overlook ethnicity and vote people for their credibility until they we will only be building a polity that will read our will before our death. As far as i am concerned we dont have eligeable candidates for 2015.

  15. Richard, thank you ooo. It’s likely we’ll never have eligible candidates, and we’ll end up settling for “our kinsman”, abi?

    I am tired sha. Cant say too much now. Gimba thank you for airing my thoughts… for reading my mind.

  16. I refused to buy or read this book because I was convinced my man El-Ruffy would thoroughly waste my time with his holier-than-thou exposition of nothing more than his massive ego. As an erstwhile ardent sympathizer of El-Ruffy, he has been a major disappointment and his antics recently have indicated just how wrong about the man I had been. This guy, smart as he might be, is intemperate, self-serving and rather unscrupulous. Not much will come out of of his political ‘rigor mortis’ I suspect but when he’s done, even the deserved credit for his work in rescuing Abuja from degenerating into a city of slums will not stop most people from holding their nose when he shows up. What a shame!

  17. @gimba iya. Nice write up. In as much as I won’t agree with evrythn u said here, I do believe atleast u are honest in ur criticism of TAPS. And for the pple saying this writer was paid 2 write this, am pretty sure the writer won’t stoop that low. Even tho I haven’t read the book, I do believe @elrufai is not a saint as he portray himself. But as far as nigeria and the world politics is concerned. Elrufai is still one of the 1st set of pple I will vote for if they come out to contest for any post at all. Even befor TAPS, I knw elrufai is arrogant. His hands are not entirely clean. But if he is not found guilty of any wrong doing then nobody have any right 2 condemn him. At 1st I thot TAPS was unneccessary but after a 2nd thot, I conclude its good for our polity. Bcos atleast we knw the role some pple have played in our political system. But we don’t expect elrufai to come and crucify himself, atleast not at this stage in his career when he still nurture some ambition. Props to gimber the reviewer and props to elrufai too. Its just pathetic how some pple come attacking u when u criticise their idols. May God help this country. Elrufai indeed has done well in this govt. Even tho he myt be wrong somtyms.

  18. @gimba iya. Nice write up. In as much as I won’t agree with evrythn u said here, I do believe atleast u are honest in ur criticism of TAPS. And for the pple saying this writer was paid 2 write this, am pretty sure the writer won’t stoop that low. Even tho I haven’t read the book, I do believe @elrufai is not a saint as he portray himself. But as far as nigeria and the world politics is concerned. Elrufai is still one of the 1st set of pple I will vote for if they come out to contest for any post at all. Even befor TAPS, I knw elrufai is arrogant. His hands are not entirely clean. But if he is not found guilty of any wrong doing then nobody have any right 2 condemn him. At 1st I thot TAPS was unneccessary but after a 2nd thot, I conclude its good for our polity. Bcos atleast we knw the role some pple have played in our political system. But we don’t expect elrufai to come and crucify himself, atleast not at this stage in his career when he still nurture some ambition. Props to gimber the reviewer and props to elrufai too. Its just pathetic how some pple come attacking u when u criticise their idols. May God help this country. Elrufai indeed has done well in this govt. Even tho he myt be wrong somtyms.

  19. At least someone can LOL at the writeup and the reactions…Nigeria provides a welcome dose of comic relief. The good is El Rufai’s book clearly shows some of the workings of the government. Half truths? Probably

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