el-rufai being taken away ii

By M.G Maigamo

When I glimpsed at the above article written by Muhammad Al-Ghazali, an excellent writer cum a columnist with the Daily Trust news paper; (though appeared as a guest columnist of the back page of Daily Trust on Tuesday, January, 6 2015) I was tempted to think that Al-Ghazali was campaigning for El-rufai the way he sounded sympathetic. But as an issued-based commentator as I know him to be for long, and as he did in ?the issues and choice before?? us here in Kaduna and as someone who doesn?t hold brief for anybody as he had presented some of the El-rufai?s undoing, Al-Ghazali did his best by allowing our conscience to guide us in voting.

Mallam Nasir El-rufai, popularly called ?Demolition Man? or ?Mr. Destructionist? has been under the storm in Kaduna state since when he declared to contest for the governorship seat of the state. There have been a stormy debates, arguments and dissonances both in his favor and against him. For those in support of him, including Muhammad Al-Ghazali based their argument on the premise that Nasir El-rufai Transformed FCT when he held sway as a minister, therefore if he can be elected as the governor now he will replicate same in the state. For others whose arguments are contrarian to Al-Ghazali (s) raised many points that have overshadowed that of Al-Ghazalis ?he and his likeminded.

The first issue is to discountenance the much hype being peddled by Al-Ghazalis about El-rufai?s accomplishments in FCT which to me is a feat that makes and mars him and which the opposing side sees as an untenable point because to them the transformation of Abuja was not out of any genuine course but as fallout of political witch-hunting. In other word, El-rufai, as a minister of FCT was only used as a means to achieve a certain end, so all the much-talk transformation of Abuja was not his predetermination, but a fluke and a toss-up scenario whose outcome became a reference point today as his positive achievement. We are all living witnesses of how former president Olusegun Obasanjo used El-rufai and Nuhu Ribadu as his ?presidential attack dogs? whose offices were used as an instrument of bully and political vendetta. Obasanjo conveniently used El-rufai to revoke and demolish the houses of his perceived political enemies, and what we had in the process and in the end is a beautiful Abuja that is made out of serendipity.

Secondly, there is great difference between FCT and Kaduna state. While the former is the country?s capital city modeled to be the seat of power, a la an elitist state, the latter is the home of plebeians. A fact he too reaffirmed when he said Abuja is not meant for the poor, therefore they should stay where they belong. Really, the poor people in Kaduna state have grown out of humor with El-rufai just because of that single statement. And now that he wants to contest, that statement is reliving the collective memories of the poor people in the state considering the fact that every single corner and cranny you enter in Kaduna you will see that it is filled with city dwellers carrying out a day-to-day petty businesses.

Again, any person that wants to be the governor of the state must be conversant with the physical, social and economic environment of the state. He/she must understand the context in which people lived in; their divergent social and economic needs and priorities. And this, unarguably, requires somebody who sprouts from that particular environment not somebody from a flowery city (Abuja)

A vulcanizer or a roadside mechanic in Kawo area and a corner shop owner along college road Unguwan Dosa, who eke a living by coming out daily to the roadside and carry out their petty businesses; whose lives and their dependent?s lives depend only on that will never welcome the idea of ?Mr Demolition Man? to come from a flowery city and govern them because they know the consequence of that.

Another point that seems strong is the one that says each state in the country has its distinct and unique feature in terms of its needs and priorities. That is why the concept of human (and) or {infra} structural development exist. While some states are in need of structures ?like FCT, some states need, more than anything, building the people through various avenues ?like Kaduna. The argument is a person who is predisposed to developing structures in an elite environment cannot fits in an environment like Kaduna where its people?s priority is empowerment.

As identified by Al-Ghazali himself that ??one thing that will make voters wary of the former Minister is the fear often expressed that electing him would inevitably lead to grief for many city dwellers?, people are expressing fears about El-rufai but he has not done much to dispel that fear. It could be recalled that El-rufai uprooted many people from their homes not necessarily by their own fault. Also he fought so many social forces that will today determine the actualization of his ambition. I.e. the elites, the religious institutions and the masses. Look at how he manhandled Late Justice Bashir Sambo, man old enough to be his father and a man whose strong family in Kaduna are big/large enough to scuttle El-rufai?s ambition today.

Despite all these, El-rufai now have never attempted to make amends on his many gaffes, for example as he was reported to have said that university education is not meant for the poor, and if giving the opportunity he will do the way he did in FCT. That have reinforces the popular view that people will suffer if he becomes governor. However also, because he is close to General Muhammadu Buhari he seems only comfortable resting on Buhari?s coat-tails, having illusionary belief that; that enough is a sure-fire guarantee for his success in the election. But still he doesn?t bothered to take any cue from Buhari?s turbulent political career, where he was (is) persistently rebuffing the hype and the calumny advertises against him that he is religious bigot and all that. Buhari has been steadfast and consistent in dispelling such fallacies. But in el-rufai?s case, he is not doing that, he is rather aggravating the tempo. For example not long ago media reported him to be saying that he can only go back to PDP if Satan repents (technically inferring PDP as devilish). And also saying that from 1999 to date PDP government in Kaduna have squandered the state?s treasury and he will probe it if he becomes the governor. Even his party at the national does not say so. It only said that it will draw a line not that it will probe the perceived corruptions that have taken place in the country.

For a man that has so many issues need to have a strong counter-offensive campaign strategy.  El-rufai surrounded himself with notorious people in the state. People of questionable character. Everybody in Kaduna knows Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi (his campaign Director) and Barrister Musa Soba, a vagabond politician.

If that is a sort of ?marriage of convenience? then El-rufai calculated wrongly because it will not bear fruit.

Mukhtar Garba Maigamo, a public commentator,

is a Credit Officer in the Unity Bank Plc, Kakuri Branch

Kaduna. And can be reach [email protected],  08066792996

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