An Expose on Nasir El-Rufai: Trails of Betrayals & Propaganda
By Mohammed Seidu
When it comes to the game of propaganda, not even the legendary Paul Joseph Goebbels – the Minister of Propaganda in the Hitler’s Third Reich – can match our own Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. Times over, he has proven that he has no equal in the art of treachery and cunningness. His ability to manipulate public discourse to suit his own view and agenda has not been matched yet. And if he has something to say and no one seems to be listening, he has an uncanny way of bulldozing his opinion into the public space and consciousness through his stooge medium, Sahara reporters, using fanciful pseudonyms.
After his infamous tenure as minister of the FCT where buildings of thousands of honest and hardworking Nigerians were brought down in a phantom city sanitation exercise, sending many to their early graves, only to re-allocate hundreds of plots of such demolished space to himself, his family and cronies, he now sits as Twitter warlord and media sponsor to continue his damaging business; only that this time, he demolishes people’s reputation and frustrates their efforts at political ascension.
On Twitter, El Rufai presents himself as an altruist, whose major concern is the welfare of Nigerians, so he constantly takes a swipe at any perceived “anti-people” policy. But the discerning ones know that this is mere fronting. El Rufai cannot be described as a humanist. The only person El Rufai cares about is El Rufai. Was he not the arrowhead in the campaign of silencing the opposition or perceived enemies during the OBJ administration? Have we forgotten how Chief Audu Ogbeh was shoved through the exit door at gunpoint? Have we forgotten the numerous atrocities committed by the OBJ regime, some of which were traced to the accidental public servant?
Indeed, if there are traits that cut across many present day Nigerian politicians, it is inconsistency and a lack of ideology. Many of our so called politicians cannot be identified with a notable ideology. They change with the weather; they move with the tide.
That is why you see a Nigerian politician who benefitted so much from the establishment, suddenly become an emergency activist after seeing the rug pulled off his feet. Or another who has sapped the national treasury cross over to the opposition and start to throw stones at those in government, while projecting himself as incorruptible to the public. That is the reason some of us are not so amazed at how Mallam El-Rufai has transformed from a pain in the asses of Nigerians into an activist and their number one friend who is so concerned about their welfare that he battles the government of the day on their behalf.
History of Betrayals and Doublespeak
Betrayal and speaking with both sides of the mouth are another hallmark of Mallam El-Rufai while in and out of office. Let’s start with former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who considered El-Rufai a loyalist when the accidental public servant was appointed to chair the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE). But when OBJ and Atiku fell out, it was El-Rufai who headed the team that dragged the Turaki Adamawa’s image in the mire, trumping up his excesses for the Nigerian public to see.
Then came the Yar’adua regime. We were all regaled with the tale of how El-Rufai was instrumental in foisting Yar’adua on Nigeria then. But when Yar’adua was not doing his bidding, El-Rufai turned his propaganda machine against the good-intentioned Yar’adua and started to plant stories in the media to paint the late President as weak-willed and a puppet controlled by the cabal. God bless Mr. Segun Adeniyi who told Nigerians the whole truth in his book, Power Politics and Death; thus helping us to see El-Rufai in his true colour.
During Yar’adua’s health crisis, stories were flying around about a cabal supposedly led by Turai Yar’adua who purportedly held the nation to ransom. To be frank, I was one of those who believed that grand concoction of El-Rufai. However, Segun Adeniyi’s book enlightens us that a cabal never existed, and that it was all a fabrication of El-Rufai – a claim the former minister has never denied. Imagine what a laugh he must have had over us all then, with the press and public discourse agog over tales of a certain cabal that never existed.
“I didn’t lie about him, he can’t deny it. There were people there; there were witnesses.” Those were the words of Segun Adeniyi in an interview with Sunday Trust of March 12, 2012.
It is interesting to note that El Rufai himself later came clean on this cabal issue shortly after paying a visit to the newly appointed Vice President, Namadi Sambo. Perhaps, he thought he would be appointed to the inner caucus of President Goodluck Jonathan, now that Yar’adua was out of the equation.
His doublespeak was crystallised in a United States diplomatic cable made public by Wikileaks in 2011. In the cable, El-Rufai described President Jonathan as “clean and honest”. The confidential cable with reference 07ABUJA77 reveals that El-Rufai gave the endorsement during an interactive session with the former American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr John Campbell, as the 2007 general elections was in top gear. Was Mallam El-Rufai hallucinating when he returned the verdict of “clean and honest” on GEJ then? How come he is now the lynchpin who feeds the foreign media with damaging scoops about the Nigerian people and government as recently revealed by an investigative reporter? [see details here http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/articles-opinions/meet-antony-goldman-the-merchant-feeding-fat-on-nigerias-woes/]
His treachery also came to fore during the last election when his friend, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu contested for the presidency. At the last minute, while Mallam Ribadu was betrayed in the South West for few billions of naira, El-Rufai led the foot soldiers of crusade against Ribadu’s candidature to elders in the north. Such backstabbing on such large scale Nigeria has not witnessed in a long time. The same thing he did to Donald Duke, another avowed friend of his, who is now left licking the wounds of betrayal from a trusted ally.
Not long ago, sensing that General Buhari’s large following in the north would threaten his own presidential ambition, El Rufai came public to label the retired general “unelectable.” Now, after being pushed to a corner on account of that statement, he has made a detour to sing the praise of the same man he so labelled.
The grand finale of all his lies is manifest in his memoir, The Accidental Public Servant. A publication that has been generally discredited by all the living characters covered therein. The ONLY character in that memoir that is saintly is Mallam El-Rufai. Soludo described the memoir as an “intellectual fraud”; while Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and others dubbed it a “cocktail of lies.”
El Rufai is reputed for serial lying among those who really know him. It is also an open secret that he is a major financier of Owoyele Sowore and his Sahara reporters crew. And that is his major propaganda medium for feeding the Nigerian and foreign readers (as well as copycat reporters and bloggers) with false news in the name of scoops that Sahara reporters usually propagate from “unidentified sources.” It also believed that El Rufai is the brain behind Lamido Sanusi’s recent public expose about the federal government, after having collected his own N5 billion controversial contract from CBN. See the three of them here http://saharareporters.com/gallery/photonews-sanusi-returns-nigeria-passport-seized-sss
With a long list of betrayed friends and cronies in his trail, my advice for Lamido Sanusi, his newfound ally, is to thread softly. Man, you better watch your back; as you might be the next in line for backstabbing by your bosom friend.