X-Raying Machiavellian El-Rufai
By Reno Omokri
From Atiku Abubakar, to Olusegun Obasanjo, to Muhammadu Buhari, to Bola Tinubu: It is said that you are a nobody in Nigeria if Nasir El-Rufai has not knelt down to you, only to either disappoint, or betray you.
If you thought that that was an exaggeration, then you should have been a fly in the wall at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, seat of the Kaduna State Government on Thursday 12, May, 2022.
At that venue and on that date, Nasir El-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna state announced to the world that both he and his 69 delegates were solidly behind the Presidential ambition of Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, who was in the state campaigning for votes for the APC’s forthcoming Presidential primary.
At the event, Mr. El-Rufai said:
“Sir, (referring to Tinubu) you can be rest assured of our support.
We keep to our words and ensure that as we intend to keep our promise. We will also want you to promise to deal with insecurity, infrastructure and support agriculture and empowerment.”
And that was it. Bola Tinubu went away convinced that Nasir El-Rufai and his delegates would, “keep to our words and ensure that as we intend to keep our promise.”
It only took three days for Mr. Tinubu to know how much value Mr. El-Rufai attaches to his words.
For on Sunday, May 15, 2022, Mr. El-Rufai was singing a very different tune. This time, he was speaking with Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, the minister of transport, who was at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House for the same reason as Bola Tinubu.
After hearing out Mr. Amaechi’s spiel, Nasir El-Rufai then asked the gathered delegates the following question:
“What are you going to do? Who are you supporting now? You have a huge burden on you, and you must choose what is best for Kaduna and for Nigeria.”
To which the Speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, Mr. Yusuf Ibrahim Zailani, responded to the effect that both he and all the delegates from Kaduna have resolved to vote for Amaechi.
Never mind that El-Rufai has turned a religiously heterogeneous state into one where one religion dominated the other (the Governor, his deputy, and the Speaker of the Assembly, who are number one, two and three in hierarchy, are all Muslims), but his behaviour at the May 15 event is anti-Islam.
Quran 3:76 warns against those who make a promise and do not fulfil it. That ayat says:
Which loosely translates to English as:
But Allah loves only those who fulfil their covenant and fear Allah. Truly Allah loves the God-fearing.
Such persons are the direct opposite of Al-Muttaqun. They are in fact, Munafiq.
And Nasir El-Rufai’s behaviour is consistent with former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s assessment of his character.
Mr. Obasanjo’s assessment of Mr. El-Rufai is found in page 275-276 of the digital copy of his book, My Watch Volume 2, as follows: “Nasir’s penchant for reputation savaging is almost pathological. Why does he do it? I recognised his weaknesses; the worst being his inability to be loyal to anybody or any issue consistently for long, but only to Nasir el-Rufai. He barefacedly lied which he did to me against his colleagues and so-called friends. I have heard of how he ruthlessly savaged the reputation of his uncle, a man who was like, in the African setting, his foster father. I shuddered when I heard the story of what he did to his half-brother in the Air Force who is senior to him in age.”
And this assessment was very quickly corroborated by the former Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, whose name had come up in Mr. El-Rufai’s public comments on May 15, 2022.
He had accused Mr. Lamido of having a meeting with him, along with six other Peoples Democratic Party Governors, who were negotiating joining the All Progressives Congress with him (Mr. El-Rufai) to which in a sharp riposte on May 18, 2022, Mr. Lamido said:
“At no time did we ever have a meeting as a group of Seven Governors with El Rufai. Not that I know of!”
Why does El-Rufai lie so much and so effortlessly? Is it that he is mentally unstable? Why does he have difficulty staying loyal? Did he develop this shiftiness of character as a defence mechanism to being bullied at school? Or is it a psychological condition? Could it be a symptom of multiple personality disorder?
How can you within the space of 72 hours pledge loyalty to two different persons seeking the same office? You promised your delegates to Tinubu on May 15, and then re-promise them to Amaechi three days later.
I now understand why the NDLEA’s Buba Marwa wants to screen all 2023 contestants for drug use.
The litany of lies and manipulative behaviours displayed by this fellow call into question his fitness for office.
Who has not accused El-Rufai of lying?
On Thursday, May 20, 2021, both parents of a child on oxygen, as well as nurses at the Barau Dikko Hospital accused Nasir El-Rufai of being a liar over claims that children had had oxygen masks taken off from them by striking nurses.
On Sunday February17, 2019, the Christian Association of Nigeria described Mr. El-Rufai as a liar.
On Wednesday, April 12, 2017, the House of Representatives, dominated by his own APC party, called Nasir El-Rufai a liar for stating that he had published his own personal security vote budget.
On Saturday, November 28, 2015, the Nigerian government, under the ruling All Progressives Congress of which he is a member, officially called Nasir El-Rufai a liar, over his claims (now established to be lies), that the previous Jonathan administration had spent N64 billion on Independence Day celebrations (not up to N1 billion was spent).
And it is just not lying. His career as a backstabber is legendary. He was brought into government by then Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who he turned against and pitted against then President Obasanjo, whose bingo he became. Then when Obasanjo’s tenure ended without Obasanjo anointing him as his successor, he ran away in exile to nurse his wounds.
He remained there until his arch nemesis, President Umaru Musa Yar’adua died. Thereafter, he returned to the country, met with the new President, Goodluck Jonathan and started lobbying him to be made his Vice President.
When on May 12, 2010, then-President Jonathan picked the then Kaduna State Governor, Namadi Sambo, as his vice, El-Rufai bared his fangs and again switched sides to General Buhari, a man he had insulted as bad for Nigeria only a few years earlier.
So, given such a long and illustrious career as a liar and schemer, I am wondering why anyone would take anything said by Nasir El-Rufai, at any time, to heart. The man is just too unstable and untrustworthy to be taken seriously. Whether by Amaechi or by Tinubu.
It is not just size that connects Nasir El-Rufai to Tyrion Lannister and Lord Petyr Baelish of Game of Thrones. All of them have similar characters. Very slippery and shady. And very skilful at betrayal and backstabbing. Trust them at your own risk.
If Amaechi and Tinubu count on him, I feel sorry for them! If Pastor Yemi Osinbajo promises El-Rufai the Vice Presidency, he will betray Amaechi for Osinbajo, just as he betrayed Tinubu for Amaechi.
It is only Southerners that are foolish enough to even consider trusting El-Rufai. In the North, he is a well-known Munafiq, of whom it is said that if you are locked in a room with a cobra and El-Rufai, leave the cobra and face the demon. At least you can get anti-venom medication. But there is no anti-demon medication if you are not strong spiritually!
And a lot of Northerners feel that way about Osinbajo too. That is why I laugh at the suggestion of an Osinbajo-El-Rufai ticket.
Let me use an allegory to describe the public perception of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Northern Nigeria.
Imagine you were denied a visa to England, where your bride-to-be’s parents live. So, you asked your best friend, who had a UK visa, to represent you. And he went there to marry your wife. That is what “Osunbade” did to Tinubu by contesting the APC primary with him!
And we all know that. Including those defending him. Would you want such a friend? Bola Tinubu is a nasty piece of work. But when the APC’s Muslim-Muslim ticket was untenable, Tinubu nominated Osinbajo to represent him.
What he did shows a lack of character. No matter how bad your benefactor is, as long as God used him to make you what you are, it is ungodly to now turn against him and begin to contest with him. People will argue and ratify this. But in your own personal lives, you won’t want such a friend!
Have a job
Have a side hustle
Have real estate
Have a gold ETF
Have a YouTube channel
Have an amazon KDP account
Have treasury bills
Then if you have money left after all these, you can then waste it on posing for social media. Stop going broke because you are trying to look rich! Looking ordinary, yet being extraordinarily wealthy is better than looking extraordinary, but being in reality extraordinarily poor.