El Rufai: Progress, ego and pettiness

By Hashim Suleiman

In the entire time of the Buhari presidency, the president has never spent two full days in any state for working visit and it came as no surprise to us that such a state was Kaduna. El Rufai had indeed been working hard trying to secure funding for the urban renewal and other educational infrastructural policies and he finally secured the loan with the ascendance of favorable senators who worked hard to ensure he succeeded, though he mentioned that the a President and Minister of Finance helped too. We also know him to be a man that lives to his word even if it’s for the sole purpose of satisfying his ego, so there were more than enough projects to be commissioned and Buhari would do him that favour considering that Kaduna is his own base of residence and El Rufai is also considered one of his most closest strategist pre 2015 elections, one cannot be sure the relationship with the ‘cabal’ afterwards.

Strategically, the commissioning started from Kafanchan, the southern Kaduna where the governor had been accused and perceived of discriminating. Massive roads were commissioned and you could see the intent of a progressive person who had a clear economic blueprint for these infrastructure developments which would culminate into urban renewal with quicker and faster economic movements. In all fairness also, the nagging conflict in the southern Kaduna has also subsided for at least the past two years less for the banditry which is not peculiar to that zone alone. Apparently, his management strategy of whatever the crisis were has worked, big kudos.

Next was the Kaduna capital city where Mr. President kept commissioning projects till he confessed to being lost on the road to his Sultan Road residence. Such is how massive El Rufai’s infrastructural developments are. The entire development is being executed with a clear plan for creating a transport network in the state. The overall aim is to expand the city and equally connect all the various forms of transport. The ever busy Kawo flyover has been transformed to delight of all those traveling to the northern hinterlands and this has brought joy to not only residents of Kaduna but to millions of travelers into deeper North West and even North Eastern states.

Thereafter, the president proceeded to Zaria where he commissioned massive infrastructure made of roads, schools and other urban renewal endeavors. The crowd that greeted the President in Zaria further showcased how much Buhari’s goodwill is still intact in the Northern Nigeria. There was royal visits and the two day hectic project commissioning came to an end and it was apparent Buhari was elated and impressed with what he witnessed and one can understand why the entire event was capped with a banquet to properly put words to it.

So many people believe El Rufai is not politically very sound because his both electoral successes were on the backdrop of Buhari’s popularity and I suspect the timing of these projects commissioning to be his only strategy of selling himself to the president and the public for a possible presidential slot. But as usual, he used his own mouth to further mess that opportunity during the banquet. His ego and pettiness that rightly made people submit his name less amongst the presidential hopefuls came to bare.

El Rufai went berserk calling political opponents stupid and showcasing first class of the ego that has got people to cancel him off political ascendency based on personal goodwill and strategy. Perhaps that display of pettiness and name calling was an attempt to further convince Buhari to nominate him for the presidential ticket because that would be his only near opportunity at clinching the number 1 seat, but I’m not sure if Buhari is as petty to find such interesting. He went gloating about how he sent Senators Hunkuyi and Shehu Sani packing almost three years after. This could pass for intimidation and fear of losing out in 2023 where Buhari will not be a factor. That moment was too low for me and it diminished all of the increased impression that the projects brought to my mind. While gloating, he paused deliberately assuming there must be a laughter that must greet his littleness, sycophants will of course but it was totally needless, El Rufai believes he’s more clever than everyone else and his opinions must pass with everyone, doubt if he has any advisers because if there were, they would advise against such. That was how the other day when Gov Bagudu was addressing the press after their progressive governors meeting, El Rufai was almost interjecting the man and itching to be the one passing off the press briefing, he didn’t believe Bagudu was saying enough, he felt he would say it better and was busy passing same off with his body language.

El Rufai must remember, infrastructural development alone is not enough to guarantee political successes if not Governor Bindo of Adamawa would have still been there today. He must be careful how he condemns political opponents because they could indeed emerge victorious tomorrow regardless of his many progressive strides.

God bless Nigeria

Hashim Suleiman: [email protected]

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