Nigerian Political News Media
The Elrufai they’ve conveniently forgotten
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By Titus Ajimobi

Nothing can be more paradoxical than the unfolding drama surrounding the confirmation of Mallam Nasir El Rufai as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Who really is Mallam Nasir El Rufai?
Mallam, as fondly called, is clearly a highly cerebral yet humble personality. This is typified in his self-introduction during recent Senate Ministerial screening wherein he failed to highlight his deservedly academic laurels of having earned first class degree in Quantity Surveying and Distinction at ordinary level amongst several academic awards; rather focussing on his records of service The appellation of “His Excellency” is least appealing to him during his tenure as Executive Governor of Kaduna State
He is undoubtedly a completely detribalised Nigerian with friends from all the nodal corners , segments and sectors of this nation.

His cabinet in Kaduna during his tenure as Executive Governor was a Mini Nigeria.
For him , Government patronage was only dependent on capacity to deliver with notable projects handled by those refered to as ” foreigners ” by the local competitors and for him the religion , age, colour , ethnic background , tongue or other primodial sentiment are clearly outside the parameter and radar of consideration for engagement of those who worked with him though gender sensitive and youth friendly
Yet it is clear that his choices were right as he successfully delivered using the team members spectacular projects like the Galaxy Mall , Galaxy Park and extensive road projects just to mention a few.

His option to champion the support for the Current President then a Presidential candidate from the South at a time when another Presidential candidate of Northern extraction was justifying entitlement to Northern block support was one of most patriotic boldest statements ever made on Power shift towards guaranteeing an egalitarian society where justice and fairness reign supreme.

Equally was his stance against the interest of some elements in the Presidency bent on foisting the controversial introduction of a Consensus Presidential candidate of Northern Extraction on the ruling party .

All these were at great political and personal risk knowing his father / son closeness with the President at the time.

On relationship , Mallam Nasir Ahmad El Rufai is a humanist; not one to betray his friends even at their lowest moments .His stoic support through thick and thin for his friend, ex Central Bank Governor and then Emir of Kano His Royal Highness Sanusi Lamido Sanusi upon deposition is characteristic of his commitment to unshakeable value of trust and assured provision of a hand to a friend in need to lean on when the odds are piled up.

This writer a friend of over 30 years can reveal that Mallam Nasir El Rufai about 34 years ago chose to personally drive himself all the way from kaduna to Jos to be the first to present “mothercare” package to my first child immediately at birth ; no doubt deservedly the godfather to the newborn child offering guidance till date to his godson !

For those of us very close to him, we know his commitment to service has taken heavy toll on his physique and personal comfort This writer is therefore not ashamed to boldly state being a member of the close friends who prevailed on Mallam to shelf his planned rest and make the sacrifice to be part of the rescue team at this point in our Country’s history .

The nation not Mallam Nasir El Rufai personally will be the eventual winner upon his final clearance as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria , a repeat of similar episode 20years ago for clearance as8 Minister of Federal Capital ; just as its now without doubt that the successful yet to be beaten renewal story of the Federal Capital cannot be completely told without the mention of Mallam Nasir El Rufai!!

Now is the set time to do away with prejudices and get our best hands with proven records all on deck in the task of rebuilding our infrastructure to serve the overriding interest of the mass of our people particularly the young ones who form the bulk of our population of a country where for decades power supply has not only been epileptic but grossly inefficient.

Our weak industrial base , the heavily challenged security system , the increasingly restless teeming youthful population with abundant energy coupled with undeservedly idle time seeking oppurtunities for expression to run small scale businesses as barbers , modern farmers, electricians , inventors amongst others and indeed every other sector of our economy will ultimately be beneficiary of this clearance of unquestionably passionate Nigerian with rare capacity to handle tough job !!!

Titus Ajumobi an architect writes from Lagos

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