El Rufai and the Transient Nature of Power

Rev. Fr. Williams Kaura Abba

Nasir El Rufai was a larger than life figure that seemed exaggerated or important than usual. I hate to remember the days my state was ravaged by insecurity and the wanton killings that went on unabated while he held sway.

Communities were razed down. Citizens were murdered in their sleep. Traditional rulers with strong voices were humiliated and even killed and to this moment, no one has been brought to justice. Fingers were pointed in one direction but no one could nail him to the crime. And so Agwam Adara’s murder remains an unsolved murder case.

We criticised El Rufai through our writings and took him on. I made visits to the CID at the invitation of police. He threatened us with arrest and did the worst he could with journalists and opinion leaders. Luka Biniyat, and the Adara Elders spent time in prison for speaking out or for daring to challenge the maximum ruler.

El Rufai was ruthless and inhuman. He never hid his disdain for my people and treated us like scum of the earth. Whether it was in the area of sharing resources, appointments or project allocation, Southern Kaduna didn’t stand a chance with him.

Eight years have quickly rolled by and thankfully, we have a new sheriff in town, someone in the saddle who is showing some semblance of fairness. One year after, we can heave a sigh of relief. It’s not yet uhuru and we are not where we want to be in terms of fairness, but we can say: so far, so good…

With El Rufai, the chicken has come home to roost. His mischief, silliness, wickedness and wrongdoings are coming back not only to embarrass him, but to hunt and hurt him and cause him serious problems, politically.

The members of the Kaduna State House of Assembly have concluded their investigation and the panel’s report is unambiguous. And the screaming headlines are interesting: “El Rufai’s government stole our state blind and raped our treasury”. The report so far has determined that a whopping 400 billion Naira plus, was stolen by the same man who prided himself as Mr integrity that governed without stealing a dime and who was proud of his public record as governor.

Well, it remains for the courts to either affirm the report of the panel or clear him of the heavy allegations mounted against him. But, the huge loans El Rufai took in foreign and local currencies, when matched with the so called infrastructure in the state, leaves so much to be desired.

Our state, especially Southern Kaduna axis is littered with all kinds of abandoned projects. The only road El Rufai thought to repair is the Kafanchan – Kwoi Road that has sadly remained a conduit pipe, spanning more than 5 years. Come rain, come shine, our people are left to bear the brunt of a disastrous and evil game put together by the El Rufai administration.

A day of reckoning will always come. That day for El Rufai is here. The people he contemptibly treated are having the last laugh. Even friends and allies who queued behind him and were cheering him on are now singing a new song and forming new alliances. His mentees who had an uncanny reputation for gaslighting us are either singing dirges or saying mea culpa.

The arrogant voices with which they defended every policy and step he took are silent, highlighting their quietude and wise passivity. And who wouldn’t? Rarara who sang praises of him as governor is now deriding and mocking him in his new song to the delight of El Rufai’s successor and a group of loyalists who were before now, his close allies. The song on our lips now is “ginau ya fi rusau” (a euphemism for building is better than destruction). Once power has left you, the friends you thought you had will be gone.

While we wait with bated breath and hope that the courts recover some of our stolen monies, I make bold to advise leaders to be fair to the people and fear God Almighty. When God gives you power, use the opportunity for positive impact. Long after you are gone, let people say, we had a good leader and he was kind to us.


Leave a Comment