El Rufai, Please Tell Lagosians the Truth
Kaduna state governor, Nasir El Rufai was in Lagos this past Sunday and at an event held in Ikoyi by the Bridge Club to commemorate his visit El Rufai in response to a question on godfatherism by three time Lagos state commissioner and Tinubu ally turned adversary, Dr Muiz Banire SAN, said Kaduna state used to be a lot like Lagos and that before they were retired by his victory in the 2019 election, there were ‘3 or 4’ people you could not ‘become anything’ unless they were by your side.
El Rufai may have sought to either exploit the enormous powers a ‘similar problem too’ narrative has over an audience or to characteristically, depict himself as a political gladiator worthy of emulation but one thing is not in doubt-El Rufai is not being honest.
No disrespect to Lagosians but at no time did anyone, either as a member of the PDP or the APC and either alone or as part of a cabal, sit down to decide who gets what from the bottom to the very top in Kaduna state.
In 2015,President Buhari despite being in seperate camps with the state’s elite and never hand-picking candidates for his party, adventitously had the closest thing to an influence over the Kaduna electorate due to their perception of him as a man of integrity. El Rufai prior to getting elected had been labelled a hypocrite in some quarters for aligning with Buhari to reap off that.El Rufai became governor in 2015 only because Kaduna people saw him as a core loyalist of Buhari’s. So who were the godfathers in Kaduna that were still active till they were ‘retired’ by his victory in 2019?.The ones who boasted that they put him there and will remove him?.
El Rufai has a notoriety for grand standing whenever an opportunity presents itself and with a possible Vice-Presidential nomination at stake after Buhari leaves office in 2023 (if he lasts that long),these comments depicting him as a leader of extraordinary proportions don’t come as a suprise.
What is shocking however is the magnitude of the hypocrisy involved. El Rufai shouldn’t be heard saying anything when there is any discussion on the impropriety of godfatherism. He single-handedly frustrated 2 serving senators out of the APC in the state for not seeing things his way after telling the people to assault them and handed his stooges the party’s tickets in their zones. One of those beneficiaries is his former Special Adviser on Political affairs, Mallam Uba Sani.
Senator Shehu Sani, the out-going senator of Kaduna Central constituency was quite vocal in his reference to the APC senatorial primary where he was schemed out as a ‘Kangaroo election’. Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi,the other of El Rufai’s victims had his house demolished and both Senators openly accused the Kaduna state governor of being behind an attack on their lives by armed thugs at a press conference held in 2017 at the National Union of Journalists, Kaduna state secretariat. Is El Rufai really speaking on the ills of godfatherism?.
How it is possible to track down to wherever they are, ‘just 2 million’ of persons that didn’t turn up to vote and spend N2bn defeating Lagos godfathers is something only he can explain better but what he can’t do is portray himself as a political Super Man by fabricating a story on having to overcome ‘3 or 4’ god fathers in his home state. This is a pretty much verifiable piece of information.
The Lagos State Publicity Secretary of the APC. Joe Igbokwe in his response on behalf of the party did not waste time denying that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was a godfather, what he did was wax poetic about the ‘party leader’ while stating the very obvious as far as people like El Rufai are concerned-“they want to be like Tinubu but they can’t be like Tinubu”.
Either way, its not uncommon for people to highlight the evil in a person to pass themselves off as good and to also hate a person for being everything they aspire to become. Even if it means telling a lie or two.
Umar Sa’ad Hassan is a lawyer based in Kano
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