If there is anyone among the constellations of stars and galaxies gathered by PBAT who I can wager will serve as the minister for this era and have the ability to work wonders in whichever ministry they assign him, it is Malam Nasiru Ahmad El-Rufai. He is a born administrator with the Midas touch who is fearless, complacent, diligent, focused, fiercely determined, disciplined, and clairvoyant. He frequently took difficult, forceful actions that benefited the majority of people because of his desire to change the narrative. Malam El-Rufai’s appointment as the FCT minister under Obasanjo was marred by controversy, over the claim that the Senate had asked for a bribe before clearing him. Being a strong president, Obasanjo stood up for him until he was finally exonerated rather than capitulating to the Senate’s planned political games. If all the nominated candidates with questionable luggage in their pouches were cleared, nothing should prevent him from being cleared as well.
As a matter of fact, the imprint left by the former minister (El-Rufai) will endure for the ensuing fifty years or more. Prior to his emergence as the FCT minister, Abuja city had lost its glitz, energy, and tranquility, and had become the metropolis of Okada riders. It was a metropolis with an intermittent water supply; water merchants, or “Mai Ruwa,” could be found everywhere, especially in the Maitama and Asokoro districts. The cyclists known as “Okada” were free to operate. Cases of robbery were frequent. There were food carts selling fried beans, “Akara, Kose,” and yams all over the streets. Street children, beggars, bike riders, and local food vendors in every nook and cranny of the city have stolen away the city’s charm and energy.
In the FCDA, he declared war on government employees, land swindlers, and investors. He dismissed those responsible and destroyed the land-grabbing gangs with the backing of the presidency. In order to record and computerise the FCT territories, he also reformatted the Abuja Geographical Information System (AGIS). Abuja receives water from the lower Usman Dam, whose environment has been revitalized and made functional. Additionally, he altered the street numbering to conform to contemporary standards. Abuja’s green spaces have been reclaimed from land speculators. Street food vendors and okada riders were forbidden. Almanjiris street urchins were considered outlaws in the city to stop armed robbers and thieves who pretended to be beggars from carrying out atrocities there. Those who received free land had to repurchase it and pay for it.
It is noteworthy that the FCT as a whole had lost its professional edge before El-Rufai arrived, who changed the course of the city’s history and rebuilt it in accordance with contemporary standards attainable anywhere in the world. When compared to the 16 years of PDP governors who accomplished little, El-Rufai’s two terms as governor were unmatched. He opened up and built sturdy, reliable highways across the Kaduna metropolis, from Kawo Junction to the Bypass Express to Kabala Junction and other regions. The entire city of Kaduna, as well as rural areas, were not exempt from the outbreak, nor were Ungwan Rimi, Ugwan Dosa, Malali, Barnawa, Tundun Wada, or Tundun Nupawa. He makes Kaduna State and the city massive development sites. With the development and growth of mega-roads, he eliminated the remaining signs of colonialism from the city.
Even his adversaries recognise his towering accomplishments as something unmatched by his forebears. Nigeria would have been a pleasant place to live if more leaders had El-Rufai’s “can do habit.” Even though he is flawed like all others and has a controversial personality, he has the Midas touch that makes everything he touches work. His somewhat conservative stance on societal issues makes him vulnerable. The previous president’s kitchen cabinets, the cabals, and the electricity mafia, who are aware that he might not spare them and that life would not continue as usual under his leadership, will never forgive him or want him close to the corridor of power. Additionally, the North-East cabals are uneasy about El-Rufai’s involvement in the government because they fear that his aura would overshadow the personality of their candidate, who is eminently positioned to succeed PBAT in 2027 or 2031.
Observably, PBAT and his boys are under pressure to sacrifice him at any cost due to a mixture of these and other people who have personal grudges against him. The entire world is following PBAT’s route-finding strategy as he makes every effort to keep El-Rufai free. Like President Obasanjo, one anticipates PBAT to represent El-Rufai by using all the resources at his disposal to ensure that he overcomes the obstructions placed purposefully to thwart the regime’s determination to provide electricity for Nigerians, or instead gives in to the sneaky agenda of influential parties both inside and outside who are prepared to ensure his exclusion or be ready to inform the public of his sin or the unreported atrocities he must have committed behind closed doors that warrant his non-clearance by the security agency.
The worst mistake made by this individual was his unequivocal and frank assertion that “the Federal Government must revisit all the licenses of the electricity distribution companies and possibly change ownership of some” during Senate questioning. This remark undoubtedly shocked the electricity mafia, which is milking Nigerians without supplying adequate power for the entire country to use. Without enough electricity, no country can function effectively.
Bello, a social commentator, writes from Canada