El Rufa’I -Between Competence and Sentiment


"A misunderstanding and neglect occasion more mischief in the world than malice and wickedness, where little neglect may breed great mischief "

The above saying goes the same with manipulation, interference with people's judgement and decisions,  making them think certain things are in their interest, which really are not.

Unless there is a radical transformation of human moral character, it's probably always going to be true that some people working in the political sphere will try to manipulate decisions, issues as well as others in position to the detriment of the nation’s common good.

Nigerian Senate’s confirmation on 7th August 2023 of 45 out of 48 ministerial nominations presented by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu leaves much to be explained.

According to sources, the Senate is yet to receive security clearance from security agencies, and that an advisory has been given to the upper chamber by relevant agencies not to confirm the three affected nominees including Malam Nasiru El-Rufa'i .

If at all that was the reason, there must be something fishy in the matter as by tradition, the said security issue is treated ahead of transmission of nominations to the Senate for final screening and clearance. 

Ironically, the upper chamber of the Nigeria’s legislature could not clearly give convincing reasons for the controversial decision taken particularly on Malam Nasiru whose competence is incontestable and achievements in the public positions held outstanding.

This is necessary as what Nigeria needs at this trying moment is capable hands that are not only qualified but result oriented.

Any decision maker who is guided by conscience not sentiment should consider expected development outcomes from  appointee not who is he or where he comes from.

The Senate owes Nigerians explanation as to why the nation should be deprived of a capable hand whose Midas touch ttransformed the FCT between 2003 and 2007 as well as Kaduna State between 2015 and 2023. 

One oblivious question is how comes after a successful screening in the hallowed chamber and prior examination by security agencies flimsy are now being given for his clearance?

As stated earlier, normal procedures before submiting  ministerial nomination to the hallowed  chamber entail passing a preliminary screening by the DSS and other relevant security agencies was that not the case for Malam Nasir El-Rufa'i? 

If the answer is in the affirmative then suspicion of sinister motive behind his non clearance would be a reality.

It also translates to rewarding good with evil to the former Governor who stood firmly behind Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Ahmed Tinubu as a Presidential aspirant and later the APC flag bearer.

He has gone extra mile to ensure power shift to southern Nigeria by championing the “North for Tinubu/ Kashim ticket”.

Subjecting someone who made such a huge sacrifice to such an unfair treatment will be seen as a clear act of betrayal.

Unfortunately, we are in a situation where in the political space certain people only commit themselves to mischief and trying to manipulate actions and decisions.

That however doesn't automatically mean the manipulative tactics will be a major part of how politics are played, as the benefits of manipulation by the people engaged in it are only there when other people are susceptible to being manipulated.

This indeed, is a political manipulation in disguise against the person of Nasir El-Rufa'i by some few elements within and outside the Senate who are working tiresly to undermine personality and capacity in the eyes of the public. 

Therefore, to mischief markers the message is simple Malam Nasir El-Rufa'i is a man of integrity and he says and says what he means, he says things as it is.

Malam Nasir is always consistent in all his dealings, he might not be 100 percent consistent but will score high in consistency for not  compromising standards in exchange for everything.

It's evident that, Malam Nasir El-Rufa'i played a key role in the emergence of Bola Ahmed Tinubu/ Kashim Shetima ticket  at the time when the vast majority of Northern polical actors were vehemently against shifting the presidency to South.

Indeed, the issue of security clearance raised by the Senate is obviously mischievous and sounds funny.

What is playing out presently is an attempt by so called anti Muslim Muslim ticket for Malam Nasir El-Rufa'i as he plays  a key role in mobilizing the entire northern region for the unprecedented development.

His role in this Muslim-Muslim is purely political and not religious.

More obvious were his track achievements as governor for 8 years.His capacity to identify, plan and actualize his goals into reality as well as his ability to turn Kaduna to the most amazing place and taking tough decisions that generated anger among certain selfish individuals.

The former Kaduna Governor is receiving all these tongue lashing for nominating a Muslim Deputy and supporting Bola Ahmed Tinubu  who also picked a Muslim running mate. 

They remain upset and are also calling for Mr President to dump him.

It's worthy to note, that Malam Nasir personally wanted to retire after his tenure as a Governor but many prominent personalities including Mr President appealed to him not to retire in view of his capacity and accomplishments.

Mr President specifically asked El-Rufa'i to shelve his retirement plan which later he respectfully answered obliged.

From all indications, these are issues related to political vendetta being peddled against him by and through selfish individuals and groups.

For, Mr President Bola Ahmed Tinubu this is one of your finest and ardent supporter being subjected to all sorts of malice, hatred and campaign of calumny. 

He is facing numerous attacks from mischief markers who see nothing good in him despite the selfless service rendered to his state and country. 

Mr President how can all sorts political brouhaha be allowed to continue with you around.

Will you look the other way from someone who stood firmly behind you at difficult times when your political associates and some elements within the presidency distance themselves from you?

Malam Nasir El-Rufa'i went all out and confronted anyone including fellow northerners challenging your suitably to rule our dear country and insisted that the next president must come from the south.

He was the one despite his intimacy with former President Muhammadu Buhari vehemently opposing the controversial Naira redesign policy and even went to court to challenge the former President’s decision and of the suspended Central Bank Governor at the Supreme Court.

Such struggles were greatly facilitated by your emergence as APC candidate and now Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

For those who do not know prominent personalities in Northern Nigeria once invited Mal Nasir Elrufai to obtain the presidential nomination form and run in the 2023 election which he patriotically declined in the spirit of fair play. 

He turned down the offer and declared his support for Mr Tinubu.

These noisemakers were nowhere to be found during such struggles.

The issue at stake is not Nasir El-rufai, our concern is for the president himself who allowed mischievous elements to politically maltreat Malam Nasir El-.Rufa’i. 

Allowing such to continue would certainly deter patriotic citizens from supporting you or any other person in the future.

It is also imperative for the President of the Senate to beware of the ongoing insinuation that he is a rubber stamp who bows to the dictates of some selfish elements within the inner caucus. 

Mr. Senate President, therefore, needs to tread with caution. 

Everyone knows that Mr. President only forwards the name of ministerial nominee to the Senate after being subjected to all channels of clearance, so what has gone wrong in the case of El Rufa’i?

The people of Kaduna State and well-meaning Nigerians are calling on Mr. Senate president and senators to confirm El-Rufa'i as  Minister of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

We have full confidence in the ability of our security agencies as well as relevant authorities concerned to unravel the mystery around this annoying situation.

Kamaluddeen Sani Shawai wrote in from Kano, Nigeria, and can be reached via ddeenshawai@gmail.com

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