Of Yar’Adua And El-Rufai

I forced myself; I must confess, to read the lengthy and unwieldy narration of former Obasanjo hit-man, Nasir El-Rufai on the two years of the present wobbly Yar’Adua government. My instinctive feeling was that this fellow, who made the upper crust of the greatly deceptive and fraudulently patriotic Obasanjo locust years, cannot give us any honest assessment of the debilitating liability, which the

present government has become because he, alongside some of those that perambulate the Diaspora in dubious patriotic toga, played very negatively active role in forcing that mischoice on Nigeria. And to call the Yar’Adua government a mischoice is to glorify a bizarre fraud that was neither committed by the Nigerian people nor have their blessing.

Again, El-Rufai’s views on the Yar’adua government cannot be value-free because he was worsted in the power struggle in the emerging Yar’Adua contraption in the first instance. All these are if we ignore the obvious bombast, the extensive inflation of self-worth and a discernable feeling of assumed importance meant to give that unnecessary verbose outing some veneer of authority and inflate the worth of the author to issue such self-embellishing epistle. This is vintage El-Rufai, a character that is ever ready to flatter his real worth and who would not mind dabbing himself with enough confetti in a bid to make up for his petite physical frame. He not only was one of the pocket messiahs that predicated their rise to greater glory in the Yar’Adua era on the visitation of a howling scam on Nigerians. One other such fellow (and they are many) remains Nuhu Ribadu, the self-propelled and self-adulated former anti-corruption czar who misinterpreted his role on how he satiated the crazy and gluttonous quest of the Obasanjo-led PDP for unaccountable power.

Again, I know that the duo were the most vociferous in broadcasting whatever they deemed their achievements and the duo invested in the negative roles they played to manipulate the country’s body polity with the hope of automatic pay-back when a regime with no popular mandate is forced down on Nigerians. Again, the duo may not understand why other hatchet men like Bayo Ojo, Maurice Iwu, and Sunday Ehindero were either not vindicated or were even rewarded for their acts of infamy; they were hounded out of office and made to account for their bad deeds. While El-Rufai had his well guarded pot of worms that contained the unholy looting of Abuja lands and houses uncovered, Ribadu was demanded to account for acts of insubordination and his pretence that he was cleaner than the co-gangsters with whom he prosecuted the Obasanjo leviathan that was noted for how it grew the fonts of corruption to favour choice lackeys and cronies. Both have been made fugitives from the law as well as from the Frankenstein they violently moulded and they are still on the run.

So, I believed that an El-Rufai has no heck of a credible account to give about a regime that had disappointingly refused to meet his narrow and often dangerously selfish permutations as well as the basic needs of a well-battered citizenry neighing for redemption from horrible governance. But then, I read the piece just to see if there are newer revelations we can tap from this messy fight among thieves, sharing unearned loot from a bounteous rape. So after reading El-Rufai’s lengthy account on Yar’ Adua’s government, I walked away with some of these main points;

The Obasanjo regime, of which El-Rufai was a strategic player, had no succession plan after eight years in power and had to settle for Yar’Adua after the failure of a more heinous life presidency project for which Yar’Adua, El-Rufai and Ribadu among so many principalities were fervently committed.

The regime opted for a reluctant candidate who was far less controversial, almost invisible and physically encumbered for less tasking but whom the government strangely felt was the ‘best candidate’ to succeed Obasanjo.

The Obasanjo regime, of which El-Rufai was a principal apostle, opted for a fraudulent electoral forgery to get Yar’Adua to power even when El-Rufai and co nursed the improvable and self-serving feeling that ‘he would still have won’ if the election was free and fair.

Yar’Adua has deep personal flaws the Obasanjo regime, with El-Rufai as one of the most principal enforcers, overlooked to force him down on Nigerians.

El-Rufai, with so many others, played a more than active role in the emergence of Yar’Adua and his subsequent inauguration but was shoved aside for newer menservants.

Yar’Adua has a deceptive personality that was carefully cultivated to take out opponents and hand them a deadly punch, as he had obviously dealt El-Rufai and Ribadu. This conclusion was drawn from El-Rufai’s own long acquaintance with Yar’Adua that dates back to 1972.

Yar’ Adua’s decision to undo some of the houses of fraud Obasanjo, El-Rufai, et al, built with spittle shows that those that forced him on Nigerians made a bad investment.

Yar’Adua lacks the courage, the will power and the good intention to pursue critical reforms in critical sectors like electoral process and anti-corruption fight, as he does not necessarily abhor corruption contrary to the managed picture that birthed his emergence.

Yar’Adua and the government he runs are hollow and lack the knowledge, will power and wisdom to run the country, as shown by the grim picture of the last two years.

Nigerians must brace up for more harrowing times, if the drab and uninspiring picture of the first two years is anything to go by.

These are not the only inferences in El-Rufai’s sermon but these are the critical points he raised. It is very obvious that there is no point he mentioned here that has not been severally rehearsed by Nigerians in the tasking period Yar’Adua has been in power. Even El-Rufai was a reluctant latecomer to the fact that Yar’Adua does not possess the competence to rule Nigeria for Nigerians bayed it loud and clear when he emerged through the dubious selection process Obasanjo and El-Rufai initiated as their tenure elongation project came unstuck. His own grouse started the moment he and his tall dream to rise in the emerging contraption was disappointed and he was set up for a long haul from the law. As has been said by most commentators who have weighed in on the El-Rufai missive, he would not have dared raise any voice of opposition were he given the coveted compensation for his nefarious efforts in the Yar’Adua government. Indeed, he would have been at his elements, celebrating himself and the Yar’Adua government and its invisible achievements if he was accommodated in the Yar’Adua government. If he still does not find reasons to denounce most of the damning acts of the Obasanjo regime between 1999 and 2007, he loses all moral rights to point to any of the many flaws of a blundering and practically comatose regime.

So El-Rufai was saying nothing new except that he wanted to tap into the people’s frustration at the steady defenestration the country is passing through in the hands of the culled creation of the sly hands of Obasanjo, El-Rufai and their culled ilk who maintained a suzerain reign over the sovereignty of the country to the extent that the people never mattered.

So El-Rufai has no patriotic intent or urge for national progress in penning that missive other than to cash in on the people’s angst and frustration on how their country has been stolen by vampires, brutes and ramparts and to employ same to rouse Nigerians to revolt against a Yar’Adua that has roundly shown a predicted unfitness to the task of governing Nigeria. It is very obvious that in doing this, El-Rufai who is a fugitive from the law is aiming to buy himself and those with whom he destroyed Nigeria between 1999 and 2007 a reprieve and if possible position that cabal for whatever outcome that may emanate from the fall of Yar’Adua. It is even more curious that El-Rufai aimed so much on our collective intelligence that he made no effort to offer an apologia for the Obasanjo misgovernance; even if it was on the manner it forced Yar’Adua on all of us. He still found space to laud that locust regime and generously celebrated the self-canonized hustlers and serial rapists that devoured an eight years oil boom reforming Nigeria to a pith or poverty and endless misery between 1999 and 2007.

I know that Nigerians are mad at Yar’Adua just because they want that regime to move them several kilometres away from the deliberate charade Obasanjo and El-Rufai visited here for eight god-forsaken years. They understand very well the frustration of Yar’Adua in engaging in confusing half-measures to undo the Hades Obasanjo and El-Rufai left here. They feel they have merely changed places between a duplicitous adult con star and another deceptive but clearly incompetent power monger and they seriously want out of a dysfunctional democracy that has excelled in duping and deprecating Nigerians for the past ten years. They want a fresh breather from the Yar’Aduas, the Obasanjos and the minions with whom they have completely devastated and laid waste a well endowed but horribly managed country for the past ten years. El-Rufai should therefore hold his peace for he remains one of the principal targets of the anger of Nigerians together with the government he promotes with glee and the one he is seeking to vilify.

Peter Claver Oparah.

Ikeja, Lagos.