A place to rave, a place to rant, to commend and recommend, mostly a place to vent...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The theatre of the absurd...

There are two things that I promised myself would be untouchable by this blog; one is religion and the other is politics. However, I find that I cannot remain silent anymore. I, with much regret, have to break that promise. I need to vent!!! In the spirit of full disclosure, although I don't personally know the former minister Nasir El Rufai and have never met him, my father-in -law was his older brothers classmate in secondary school. Note that since then, in over forty years, my father-in-law has set eyes on neither Ali, the older brother nor Nasir himself. I am however horrified at the public lynching going on in Abuja, under the guise of the Public Hearing of FCT matters. I know that people say he is an arrogant so and so and tries to make up for his small stature by overreaching in his ambitions. He also is said to have a condescending manner about him towards others especially because of his high IQ and his genius which he never fails to exhibit. Not everything he did was above board but in a nation where public officials do not perform, his tenure must be held up as exemplary. The obvious target of the probe had all along been Nasir El Rufai but of course the panel of 'distinguished senators' assured us that they were probing the last three Ministers from about 12 years ago. We believed them because after all 'so are they all, all honourable men'. And so it started, the theatre of the absurd. The senate panel said that their terms of reference are demolitions of illegal structures, revocations of plots, sale of Federal Govt. houses and the sanitisation of the corrupt FCDA management structure, which were all during El Rufai's tenure. DUH!!! Truly a prophet is never recognised in his village. Note that the Chairman of the panel, Senator Sodangi, had butted heads several times with El Rufai during OBJ's tenure. El rufai came in with the mandate to restore the master plan which had been bastardised by successive governments in their selfish interests. Green areas that were earmarked to be parks and recreation areas were allocated to the rich and mighty. They built their mansions and offices. Ordinary folks also took over certain parts of the town and built houses anywhere and without building approvals. The city was fast becoming ' marokoish'. El Rufai took that on without fear or favour. For too long in Nigeria, we have had one law for the rich and another for the poor but El Rufai knocked down structures regardless of where you stood on the social ladder. Senator Sodangi was affected as his Law Chambers, built on Wuse Zone 4 park was knocked down. But we believe him when he says he will be impartial because afterall 'so are they all, all honourable men'. Several illegally allocated plots were also revoked as well as undeveloped plots. On the acknowledgement slip of every allocation letter, there is the clause that the FCDA will revoke any plot that is not developed after two years. Some of the revoked plots had been undeveloped for 15 years. Senator Sodangi's three plots were so revoked but of course he is unbiased because afterall 'so are they all, all honourable men'. El Rufai was mandated to supervise the sale of Fed. Govt houses. Most objective onlookers agree that the process was transparent and fair. For the first time in Nigeria, ordinary civil servants were given the opportunity to buy their houses through mortgages. Now it has come out that the Senators requested for 58 houses but were disappointed because they were offered only 10 flats, which were beneath them and so rejected the offer. However, we should believe that they are not bitter because afterall ' so are they all, all honourable men'. Before El Rufai, there were over 30,000 applications for land in Abuja. It was impossible to get due to the chokehold that a certain cabal had in the affairs of the FCDA. You needed to 'see' them before your application is processed. El Rufai came, decentralised and computerised the system and removed the kingpins, Senator Sodangi's junior brother inclusive. But of course, they are all honourable men and will be totally impartial. El rufai cleared the backlog of applications and allocated an unprecedented 27,000 plots. My aunt had an application in FCDA for 17 years since the time of Gado Nasko. When El Rufai came, he insisted that people recertify their applications. She reluctantly did and was flabbergasted when her name appeared in the papers along with other allotees. She did not have to see anyone and is now a proud owner of land in Kaura. As I said before, he is not without fault and it seemed that in the pursuit of his set objectives, diplomacy and tact are not in his vocabulary. He therefore stepped on so many toes especially toes of people who always had authority deferring to them. He is now accused of so many things but I will withhold my opinion until after his defense. The senators now seem reluctant to have him testify but how can you accuse someone without giving him a chance to respond? All I know is that usually there are two sides to story and we can hardly wait until next week when ElRufai is scheduled to testify.

15 comments:

Charizard said...

Wow...what a way to say thank you...nonsense...

Naapali said...

As someone else put it in describing politricks in Nigeria: e no make sense.

One thing that is clear is that our system does not reward ability especially when it is impartial and hurts the interests of the rich and powerful.

Thanks for spotlighting yet another episode in the saga that is the story of politricks in Nigeria.

Chxta said...

Welcome back.

To be honest, I am not in the least bit surprised as to what is happening about Uncle Nasir. I lived in Abuja for two years between 2004 and 2006, and I remain of the opinion that he did a good job. I had also earlier expressed the opinion that something like this would happen some day soon. The problem of continuity that we've always had...

These buggers are allowing selfish interests supersede every other thing (nothing new there).

'Yar Mama said...

We are now hearing that El Rufai's testimony will be limited to 'yes' or 'no' answers. Imagine! You accuse a man and then try to gag him. Anyway, people who know ElRufai say that only death can gag him. We are waitng with abated breaths. My husband was annoyed that I said this is more interesting than any football match, yes chxta, even a match featuring Juventus cannot hold a candle to these proceedings...

NigerianDramaQueen said...

My mother is really good friends with El-Rufai..

She is far from a sycophant, and not one to give false praise-but she has nothing but good things to say about him.

When I first heard all the bad talk about El-Rufai, I muttered them to her. Mistake, because she spent one hour telling me about all the good things he has done and how he risked his life, refusing to take bribes and such.

I moved to Abuja when it was still a village. I saw it then, I have seen it now- and I know that El-Rufai has done ALOT. I dont know anything about the ongoing trials-but I do know that El-Rufai did a darn good job.

This disheartens me! First Ngozi Iweala, now this. Arghhhhhhh

BacktoNaija said...

YES Yar mama! AMEN to your post. What sold me on the El Rufai was his response to death threats while he was in office. My parahrase:" men in my family don't live long anyway, so come get me." Love it. Until we have people who are willing to die doing the right thing, Nigeria will remain the corrupt mass that it is.

The jokers in that panel are just wasting their time. Their reign is over. When God dey? Justice will be done.

ibiluv said...

I think he is a good man...waiting till he testifies..........

TheAfroBeat said...

Wow, thanks for shining the spotlight on this. This is rather sad that he's being hung out to dry (how quick to forget we are), but truth is, I don't know about the skeletons in his closet.

True, he's done a lot of laudable things, but so had Bill Clinton before he was paraded for perjury/adultery (or more recently, the Governor of New York state). If there's any truth to the charges against him, i don't think his laundry list of good deeds should cloud the prosecution's case against him. Hopefully he gets a chance to testify and clear his name.

The Law said...

Well, I believe Nasiru "The Giant" El-Rufai did a marvelous job during his tenure as FCT Minister. I stay in Wuse II, in a block of flats bordered on one end by a green area, and I only have to breathe in the fresh air coming from that direction every morning to remind me that he saved Abuja.

Granted, not everything he did was clean and above board, such as the last-minute allocations of land to Baba, but which of the jackals on this Senate Panel could have done a better job? Do they have the balls to recommend that the "questionable" allocations be revoked? If anything it'll probably end up like the PDP investigation into Orji Kalu's allegation that Anenih had threatened to "do him like Bola Ige." That "panel" found that yes, Anenih had indeed passed a message to Orji Kalu, and yes, the message was of such a nature that Orji Kalu had every reason to be alarmed by it, but that Orji Kalu should apologise to the party for causing it embarrasment by revealing the message, and that for Anenih they were advising (and only advising, they were quick to point out in cowering, sniveling cowardice) that such messages should be person-to-person in future to avoid any third-party corroboration!

They are a bunch of clowns and jokers, and Sodangi was stunned into spluttering silence when the computerised records of AGIS revealed that himself and his family members had several plots of land in Abuja and not the 3 he has been claiming.

Indeed, when one witness came to testify that Atiku had his house demolished, The Giant responded that he reviewed the case, and even if the interim FCDA boss hadn't demolished the house, he would have!

I can't wait for him to testify before the committee. It's likely his testimony will expose them for the charlatans they are, and end this 3-Ring Circus once and for all.

madaboutnaija said...

what ever happened to the rule of law..fair trials complete with impartial tribunals...opportunity to plead one's cause and defend against accuser's???? but then again no be naija....e go beta...we go make am beta..all we need to do is to wait for the current idiots in power to die off...it has happened before and it will happen again.....the isrealites know about purging the society of stupid old people

NikkiSab said...

people...(hiss) poltics...(hiss)How r u doing madam?

zara said...

yeah read about the probe panel and like u i was flabbergasted.. we take the same stand on this issue.. nasir el rufai did a good job and he's being crucified for it because nigerians a people of illinformation and they want to believe the worst of everyone even if the person has proved his/herself over and over again.
some people even say that some of the revoked lands went to his family and that bashir elfrufai(his elder brother has 15 plots of lands in abuja) i find that hard to believe.. because when u do something so brazen like he did in trying to restore sanity to the abuja plan.. u dont anything as obvious as corruption so i beg to differ.. hope the panel has some form of truth to it and all that is good end well because yes they say they want to probe ministers from 12 years ago.. everyone seems to be focused on elrufai...hmm

zara said...

yes i agree with u dramaqueen first ngozi then elrufai.. always against the good and for the bad.. thats why we never move forward.. what nigerian minister has ever done what elrufai did when he exposed senator zwingina and the other one(forgotten his name) for asking hi fro bribe.. the most an ordinary upright nigerian person can do is refuse to bribe and forfeit the post but he went ahead and dealt with them.. and what did our dear senate president and then president do? NOTHING..so that they would retain the sanity of the newly elected government( in their words not mine) bs i say, and these people are supposed to represent the law.. sometimes i wonder...

Ms Sula said...

It's very refreshing to see an African politician willing to upset the powers that be in the name of social justice and fairness...

Let's just hope they don't get to him, and subsequently discourage all the other well-intentionned.

NigerianDramaQueen said...

Lol, Im really bad with computers as well. Sting taught me how to embed links.

Okay so to embed links
1. Highlight the word that you want to add the link to
2. Click on the link icon (its green, next to the text color icon)
3. A box comes up where you can type the URL of the link you want to embed.
4. The end:-)

Now to add a blog roll:
1. Go to your Layout (right next to settings)
2. Click on 'Add a page element'
3. Select 'Link List'
4. Add the URLs of the blogs you want to add.

Let me know if u have any questions! Im looking forward to reading your weird things:-)
4. Ty