El-Rufai: Yar’Adua’s govt inept, rudderless

Former FCT Minister, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, has described the President Umaru Yar’Adua’s administration as inept and rudderless, regretting that former President Olusegun Obasanjo was misled into supporting Yar’Adua in 2007.

But, Minister of Special Duties, Ambassador Ibrahim Kazaure, pooh-poohed el-Rufai’s position, saying that the former Minister was one of those who mismanaged funds earmarked for the electricity as a member of the committee for improved electricity supply in the country.

According to Kazaure, “for eight years people’s money was spent on electricity in vain and up till now no one can say how the money was spent.”

El-Rufai and Kazaure spoke in separate interviews on the Hausa service of the Voice of America (VOA) monitored in Kaduna yesterday.

el-Rufai had regretted that although, “Umaru Yar’Adua, a northerner happens to be the President, but for the time being there is no electricity, schools are closed, hospitals are closed, in fact, there is nothing like leadership under Yar’Adua,” adding that, “Nigeria is in God’s hands only as those entrusted with leadership were there doing nothing.

“What these people around the President do every day when they wake up from sleep, is to start talking of what money they will get, but nobody works for the people since President Obasanjo left office.

“People living in Nigeria and those outside the country know what is happening in the country.

“We are praying everyday for Allah’s intervention, to bring a remedy for the ineptitude, laziness and maladministration. There is no leadership in Nigeria.

“Yes, we are to be blamed, we that were in government at that time, but we are human, we are not God.

“There is no way we could look at a person’s face, or from the way he talks, and know he is irresponsible. It was President Obasanjo that liked Umaru, and we that were working with him supported that.

“This was because Obasanjo was made to believe that anybody who opposed Umaru was also interested in the Presidency.

“But honestly, we were not interested in the Presidency; we only wanted the country to be much better. At last, we realized that everything was a farce. He has not done anything; everything is full of deceit…”

However, Kazuare said that it was wrong for el-Rufai to castigate the government which has spent only two years in office when the former administration under which el-Rufai served for eight years did not achieve much.

He asked el-Rufai to return to Nigeria and defend charges of embezzlement against him.

“I am not going to reply him (el-Rufai) but to advise him and remind him on two things, since he was a Minister in government, he should know the importance and the pains in governance.

“He was tested; he should know the strength and weaknesses of governance. He knows what government could do.

“So, when he was in government, he did everything, he was even called one with an iron shoe, he humiliated Nigerians.

“He humiliated many people. Secondly, the previous government he served which spent eight years, we also served that government though in a lower capacity.

“Therefore, if he said he accused this government, then what would he say about the previous government?

“If he said this government is in the hands of God, the previous government also was in the hands of God because. It will be a sin for a Muslim to say anything contrary.

“I will advice that for someone who was a Minister, there are things he should say and there are certain things he is not supposed to say.

“If he is really honest, since he was saying this government is that of thieves, if he is really honest and believes in the rule of law, he should come back to Nigeria.

“Since he is a Nigerian, he should come back and answer all the allegations against him. Houses belonging to people were seized and sold; lands belonging to people were sold, government houses were sold to favorites, so simply because someone has spent two years, they are saying it is a government of thieves. This is not just.

“It is wrong to say every Nigerian in this government is a thief. If he is an honest Nigerian, let him come back, the matter will be in court.

Leadership is from God and He gives whoever he wants. Whether Obasanjo likes Umaru or not, since he was destined to be President, nobody can stop that,” Kazaure said.