El-Rufa’i Vs foes: Who will laugh last?
By Abdu Abdullahi
“Do not buy the enemy of one man for the love of a thousand men.” Al-Hassan
Malam Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna’s controversial and amusing governor is always comfortable and enchanting to be living in a world of abnormalities.
His world is a different and difficult entity because unlike many people who are penchant and yearning for normalcy, piety and flexibility, his is a complete departure from that natural trend, perhaps for the sake of cheap popularity and other mundane issues. As an unpredictable governor, he has said and committed so many absurdities to our bewilderment.
From what will be highlighted below, El-Rufai is particularly obsessed with enemy imagination as well as creation that he almost forgets other things entirely.
On April 22, 2020, The Nation newspaper carried this headline: “I won’t wish my worst enemy COVID-19,” said recovered El-Rufai. This statement was uttered with the seemingly endless thoughts of his enemies at the back of his mind. It is therefore an easy affair that he could be distracted by the continuous thoughts of enemies, real or imagined.
In a related development, he was once quoted as saying: “Even if you walk on water, your enemies will say you have raised some dust.”
In a Facebook posting on his account on November 5, 2018, he made this disgusting declaration: “FRIDAY REMINDER: To the Cursed Kaduna senators, the Enemies of Kaduna State and their co-travelers.” Notice the capitalisation of the first two words for emphasis by His Excellency.
From the aforementioned instances therefore, El-Rufai’s psychology is a house of enemy attraction. It is a tragic translation of a politically flamboyant leader whose actions are premeditated towards enmity creation.
For Nasir El-Rufai to be overwhelmed by this distasteful vocabulary item, he is apparently convinced that he is always doing the right thing as a governor and that is why he is accumulating enemies.
He will be quick to tell you that you cannot make progress if you want to please all and sundry. But he cannot tell you at what particular point you should avoid buying enemies.
When I carefully read the quoted Facebook posting above, I could not imagine the emperor El-Rufa’i changing the holy character of Friday to curse other people in the name of dirty politics. He descended to the lowest of the low not to soften or tame his political extremism to the barest minimum. But beyond what he harmfully posted was a great lesson he deliberately discarded.
The Kaduna senators he cited and despised obviously included Shehu Sani. To be fair and just, Sani deserves nothing but endless blessings from El-Rufai. It was the same Shehu Sani who gallantly defied the fear and barrel of the gun to fight the military for the restoration of democracy in Nigeria.
When Sani was thrown behind bars by the Khaki boys, El- Rufai was then nowhere to be found in the battle field. We never heard of him cursing the military as the enemies of Nigeria. Malam Nasir El-Rufai was then an unknown character living abroad. Thus, El-Rufai is a direct beneficiary of Sani’s political struggle.
When senator Sani dared his undisputed arrogance for implementing unpopular policies, El- Rufai turned himself into a state of infallibility and eventually wielded his unlimited power to block Sani’s second coming to the Senate.
But sadly, he denied the people of Kaduna and the North in general the continuation of the laudable performance of a formidable, progressive and vocal Senator. Compare him with the anointed type of the governor.
Thus, El- Rufai is a kind of promoter of par excellence mediocrity to settle political scores.
However, one man’s enemy is another man’s hero. Shehu Sani, Sulaiman Hunkuyi and their co-travellers must have been heroes to other people.
They have not spilled the blood of the innocent. They have not caused despair and sorrow to the people in the name of development. It was quite unfortunate for the opportunist governor not to have a genuine cause to curse those bandits terrorising the state.
A true leader is mandated to be troubled by issues and not antagonistic with people, for that will spell doom for the society.
It was a very debatable episode when El-Rufa’i sacked 21,780 primary school teachers, who failed ‘simple’ examinations in November, 2017. It was an uncommon decision to be taken by a governor.
That action had given rise to the increase on the list of his enemies. Of course, those teachers, their families, relations, will never forgive El-Rufa’i who was fully aware of the socio-economic consequences of their sacking.
When he executed out that costly action, he forgot that the system that gave birth to the unwanted teachers should have been the principal suspect for assault and subsequent sacking. But that was completely alien to his lonely philosophy.
For free and fair judgement, the sacked teachers could have been given the opportunity to redress their shortcomings because nothing goes well in Nigeria.
Most unfortunate was that by December, 2019, two years after their dismissal, their entitlements were unpaid.
It could be recalled that on his assumption of duty, the bulldozer El-Rufa’i was quick to commence demolition of what he hated as illegal structures in the state. Amazingly, he pompously executed that obnoxious action when he had not even settled for governance as if he was on a vengeance mission.
The victims of that ugly exercise were not given adequate notice for relocation. No compensation!!
In his frantic efforts to render them homeless, he did not find it worthy adventure to deal decisively with the crook manner in which the ‘illegal’ lands were allocated and the default officers brought to book to deter others. It was alleged that the demolition demonstration led to the deaths of some of the victims, resulting from heart attack.
One of the deceased relocated to Zaria from Zonkwa as a result of ethno-religious crisis and the only fund left for him was to purchase that land, build a house and start a new lease of life.
But that nascent hope was completely shattered by El- Rufai’s arrow of misfortunes. Forever, the relatives of those oppressed people will be sworn enemies to the governor. Those who clapped for the governor failed to answer this question: If they were the victims of El- Rufai’s destruction, would they have applauded him?
Even this year, the benigellent El-Rufa’i was on another dismantling campaign. His victims this time were the traders of Kasuwar Barci Market. This was coming at a time when Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State was wearing a human face and sharing milk of kindness, donating N50 million to the victims of the fire that gutted Oturkpo Main Market.
What baffled many people was the audacity that propelled El-Rufa’i to visit the demolition site to ensure that it was perfectly executed! Could this be the handiwork of a sadist? A victim of that El- Rufai’s increased hostility, Malam Musa Zubairu in an interview with The Guardian newspaper lamented: “The governor has destroyed our lives by demolishing our market; where can we go now? This governor has no pity for us and Allah will pay him back.”
The list of El- Rufai’s enemies includes the Nigeria’s frustrated Shiites. What particularly makes him their permanent enemy is his sustained rigidity that their deteriorating leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat should not be released and must be allowed to perish under detention.
This became clear when they were transferred from Abuja to Kaduna for prosecution. In the earlier development, they were under protective custody under the Federal Government. Thus, it is a season of political exuberance and harvesting of foes for El- Rufa’i to extend his self indulgence to the heart of the Presidency.
After all, he is believed to be one of the governors having direct and overwhelming influence on the President.
El- Rufai has this message for the embattled Shiites: “As long as I am the General Commander in charge of Kaduna, your leader and his wife will never breathe the fresh air of freedom.”
It is still El-Rufa’i again!! The disgruntled Christians of Southern Kaduna will never forgive him for distorting the tradition of the aged long Muslim-Christian ticket in the political dispensation of the state. This was even coming at a time when there was heightened insecurity in the state and of course Kaduna was very notorious for its bad shape character on ethno-religious turmoil for many years.
But El-Rufa’i was more concerned with generating cheap popularity that he opted for that political brinkmanship in the last election to score a controversial point aimed at diverting attention of the people to focus on him.
At the national front, El- Rufa’i has done it again!! He launched a furious war against Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu. In his template on how to defeat the political godfathers, he was impliedly and fiercely attacking Tinubu and frustrating his 2023 political ambition.
What is amazing is that the same Tinubu was greatly instrumental to the success of the APC in the 2015 elections for influencing the South West to go for Buhari of which El- Rufa’i was a great beneficiary.
Consequently, the Tinubu team has unleashed a concerted media war against El- Rufai’s campaigns of calumny and aggression. In all these battles, it is only time that will determine the victor and the vanquished.
By the time El- Rufai’s arbitrary and executive power meets its end and is laid to rest forever on May 29, 2023, it will then be known if he is a political saint or not, for he will likely surrender to the temptations of anointing his preferred candidate to succeed him.
If this turns out to be the reality, then he will prove to us that he is also a godfather in politics. And for the concluding tragic drama, we shall witness his final exit from the Government House with extra adversaries who are very likely to oppose his imposition of his chosen candidate.
Abdullahi wrote in from Galadanci Quarters, Ringim, Jigawa State and he can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org or 07036207998.