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NBA vs. Nasir El-Rufai



NBA vs. Nasir El-Rufai


Reuben Abati

I admire Nasir el-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State for his intellectual abilities and what he has been able to achieve within the public space, but I am not his fan. I have had two rather disturbing encounters with him. The first I would overlook because at the time, I thought he spoke out of plain honesty. But there was a second encounter that I have never been able to get out of my mind. Sometime in 2013, I had taken permission from President Goodluck Jonathan to stay back in London for a few days to sort out some personal matters. The request was granted. The Presidential delegation returned to Abuja without me. A few days later on my way back home, aboard British Airways, guess who I ran into as I tried to settle down: Nasir el-Rufai. I was so excited to see him. He had just then published his impressive memoir: The Accidental Public Servant (Safari Books, 2013, 627pp.) I rushed to meet him and enthusiastically told him that I had read his book and that I was impressed. I congratulated him. He was busy putting his hand luggage in the overhead compartment. As soon as he was done with that, he turned towards me and bellowed:

“Abati, you are calling us yesterday’s men eh? Very soon, you too will be a yesterday man. When we become today’s people, we will show you what it means to be a yesterday man!”.

He didn’t respond to my compliments about his book. The scowl on his face was enough to frighten a lion. I was so confounded, I simply walked back to my seat. I kept to my lane throughout the trip. I was Nigeria’s Presidential spokesman at the time. Indeed, I had written a piece titled “The Hypocrisy of Yesterday’s Men” (February 3, 2013). I wrote in defence of my boss: “A loosely bound group of yesterday’s men and women seems to be on the offensive against the Jonathan administration. They pick issues with virtually every effort of the administration, pretending to do so in the public interest; positing that they alone, know it all. Arrogantly, they claim to be better and smarter than everyone else in the current government. They are ever so censorious, contrarian and supercilious. They have no original claim to their pretensions other than that they were privileged to have been in the corridors of power once upon a time in their lives. They obviously got so engrossed with their own sense of importance they began to imagine themselves indispensable to Nigeria. It is dangerous to have such a navel-gazing, narcissistic group inflict themselves with so much ferocity on an otherwise impressionable public. We are in reality dealing with a bunch of hypocrites.”

I went further: “With exceptions so few, they really don’t care about Nigeria as a sovereign but the political spoils that accrue from it. And so they will stop at nothing to discredit those they think are not as deserving as they imagine themselves to be. President Jonathan has unfairly become the target of their pitiable frustrations. They mask self-interest motives as public causes and manipulate the public’s desire for improvements in their daily struggles as opportunity for power grab…” I didn’t mention anyone directly. But I recall Femi Fani-Kayode, my friend, brother and associate, long before the Jonathan years, was the only other person who attacked me around the period. I had made another comment and Fani-Kayode promptly retorted that Reuben Abati could only have said whatever he said because he was the product of a same-sex marriage.

The same Femi Fani-Kayode would later realize his own hypocrisy. He eventually abandoned the company of hypocrites and aligned with the Jonathan government. He in fact led Presidential Jonathan’s second-term campaign as strategist and campaign spokesperson. Nasir el-Rufai was one of those who never took the Road to Damascus. In my 2013 essay, I did not mention his name. I gave examples including that of some Quantity Surveyors who needed to return to their professions and desist from turning Nigeria, after a spell in public office, into a meal ticket. Nasir el-Rufai is a Quantity Surveyor. He obviously assumed that the innuendo was directed at him. He took it personal. But on the spur of the moment, I couldn’t think up a justification for his attitude towards me. His arrogance. His malicious conduct. I have a big ego myself. But Nasir el-Rufai’s ego is taller than the tallest building in the world. He has had a brilliant public career, and he is one of our brightest, but his public persona is that he is completely undiplomatic. There is nobody he cannot abuse. There is no harsh phrase that he cannot utter. His critics insist that he respects nobody, fears nobody, and yet everyone wonders what feeds his ego. What is it based on? In his days as Minister of the Federal Territory, he demolished people’s houses at will. He fought the National Assembly. I will rate him as the best Minster of the FCT so far though, even if he went about his job in a very tactless manner.

As Governor of Kaduna State, he has also shown the same lack of tact and diplomacy. We are dealing with hubris it seems. In his public career since President Olusegun Obasanjo discovered him in 1999 and brought him aboard Nigeria’s big stage, Nasir el-Rufai has consistently acquired a public persona as an intolerant public servant, and a perpetual accident. In Kaduna state which he presides over, anybody that criticizes him in any way, is most likely to be slammed with a legal suit and detained. He has fought Shiites. He has abused the leaders of Southern Kaduna. He is said to be above the courts of the land because he does not respect their orders. One Bishop had the temerity to prophesy that he, El-Rufai will never be President of Nigeria, the Bishop is now in court to respond to charges of criminal defamation for daring to prophesy that the Almighty Nasir El-Rufai will never be “President of Nigeria”.

This piece is titled “NBA vs Nasir el-Rufai”. My simple point in that regard which is the main thrust of this piece is that Nasir el-Rufai is in part, the victim of his own hubris. He has lessons to learn from his current travails and I hope that he will soon be on the Road to Damascus. But at the same time, I think the joke is on the NBA, not el-Rufai. Paul Usoro, the outgoing President of the Nigerian Bar Association has handled the el-Rufai matter in a most embarrassing, cowardly and disgraceful manner. Nasir el-Rufai was invited by the Technical Conference Planning Committee (TCCP) of the NBA as a keynote Speaker at the Annual General Conference of the NBA 2020. The theme is “STEPPING FORWARD” and the question is: “Who is a Nigerian? A Debate on National Identity” (26 -29 August 2020) with a special session focusing on the topic: “Am I a Nigerian – A Debate on National Identity, The Indigeneship-Citizenship Conundrum”. It is a virtual conference, the first in the history of the NBA, in other words, a COVID-19 determined and compliant conference of the NBA, and the 60th Annual General Conference of the body.

When the Technical Committee for Conference Planning (TCCP) of the NBA decided to invite Nasir el-Rufai as a keynote speaker at this particular session, they must have thought of the fact that more than any other Governor in Nigeria at the moment, he is one Governor who has had to deal with the issue of identity crisis, especially in the Southern part of the state that he governs. Besides, he has the intellectual heft, the analytic skills and the knowledge of the national question being addressed. His ability in these regards is beyond question and he has the confidence to articulate his views in any forum locally and internationally. The Presidential Conference Planning Committee could not have made a better choice. You may not like el-Rufai’s attitude and his lack of tact, but you cannot question his ability as a diligent and first-rate intellect. By uninviting him to the 60th NBA 60thGeneral Conference, the NBA submitted itself to the will of an aggressive and vocal minority in a manner that could affect the future of the NBA negatively. Most of the people who signed the petition against Nasir el-Rufai come across like persons who nurse personal grudges against him and who failed to look at the big picture. The NBA as A.U. Mustapha, SAN has argued convincingly, should not be politicized. It must not be personalized. It must not be used to settle political, ethnic or personal scores. The decision to uninvite Nasir el-Rufai to this year’s NBA conference which commences tomorrow is a major low in the history of the NBA. Targeting one man out of a long list of other persons who have been identified by the Radical Agenda Movement led by Ogunlana Esq. as not necessarily saintly amounts to partiality and institutional malice.

Paul Usoro, the outgoing NBA President has also not handled the matter with wisdom. He has presided over the NBA in one of its lowest moments in the last 60 years. The decision to open up the NBA Annual Conference to non-lawyers and stakeholder communities is one of the major achievements of the last few years, but in a last moment act of indiscretion, Usoro’s NBA has blown that up. The scapegoating of el-Rufai by a group that has had more despicable persons on its list of invitees over the years is an indication of unfairness, injustice and malice by the same persons who claim to defend the rule of law. The NBA should be an open forum for all ideas to contend and for all persons to enjoy the benefit of fair hearing. With the NBA vs el-Rufai saga, may be the NBA is better off in the future inviting only persons who will tell members what they would like to hear. Even worse and this should be condemned, is the spineless, cheap and pathetic letters of apology written to the Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN) and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum by Paul Usoro, the NBA President. These were self-serving letters in which Usoro tried to disown the NBA NEC. What kind of…..

[OPINION] NBA vs. Nasir El-Rufai – Reuben Abati
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Domestic violence is a violence or other abuse in a marriage.
Domestic violence could involve any body but I’m looking at it in a family setting between a man and his wife.

Domestic violence includes

  • Physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religion reproductive and sexual abuse.

Many people are going through a lot in marriages today, some Christan homes inclusive. This has caused a lot of harms in homes, churches and the society at large. So many women have lost their lives in the process,men inclusive but women are mostly at the receiving end. And they endure mostly even to the point of loosing their lives. This they do because of:

  1. The love they have for their spouse
  2. Because of their children
  3. What the society will say about them
  4. Because of their faith and religion.

Please when beating and sexual molestation becomes the case in your home, there’s need for separation.

Now in as much as the Bible frowns at divorce, I don’t think it’ll be reasonable for one to remain in an abusive marriage where his/her life is a stake. The same children you think about will still be maltreated, neglected and will be forced to face horrible situations the moment you are gone. The same society you are thinking of what they will say will still blame you for not speaking out on time. Your making heaven is even very slim because I don’t think your heart is clean in that condition. Your bad thoughts, unforgiveness and bitterness is enough to send you to hell. And instead of you to commit murder, I think you should separate if that’s the only option left.

Many women are going through alot. When a domestic violence involves life threatening abuses, there’s need for you to seek for help.

Many women have died in this process. Pls being born again doesn’t mean your brain should be suspended. Yes divorce is a sin but you shouldn’t die either because you are married. You are being asked to keep praying often times, yes but you could do that also while away. Many women are dying silently. Women please speak out in such conditions, don’t keep quiet. Make sure the problem is not from you. Make sure you are not the cause of it.

I have seen a woman beating blue black by her husband. Not once not twice. Infact the man always use cane,belt etc on her. And she’s asked to keep praying. What if she die one day? What if she couldn’t take it any longer and tries to defend herself and kill her partner in the process, what will be her lot?

Women should take the necessary steps the moment they see that things are getting out of hand.

Try to see how you could save the situation by involving your spiritual leaders, your both families,the people your partner respects so much and if there’s no changes please take a break while you pray and take the necessary steps to save your marriage.

Pls note that your being away is for the mean time. Even while away you are to remain and keep your body. It’s not a time to go about messing up. If you do that you are commenting sin. You are to maintain sexual purity. Even when your partner is doing otherwise. The only time remarriage is possible is when one partner is dead. See Romans 7:2,1cor.7:39.

Neighbors should as well look out for their fellow women/men. Please speak out for them. Some of them are in a tight corner and can’t help themselves.

Stay tuned for the next post on this same topic!

Say no to domestic violence.

What’s your take on this? Share your opinion.
Will you allow your daughter, sister, brother,son go through domestic violence?
What will you have them do;the abused?

By Chika Helen Nwabueze’

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By Oladimeji Ramon

A group, the Federal Social Democrats, says the credibility and integrity of the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, have been diminished by the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki tollgate on the night of October 20.

According to the group, the Lekki incident has eroded the admiration that Sanwo-Olu won with his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group, in statement on Sunday signed on its behalf by Olutola Mobolurin, also condemned the harassment of #EndSARS protest leaders through the freezing of their bank accounts and stopping them from travelling outside the country.

The FSD’s statement was titled, ‘Statement by the Federal Social Democrats On the #EndSARS Movement and Violence in the Wake of Lekki Shootings.’

The group said, “Governor Sanwo-Olu, who before now has been credited with responsible and energetic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has by this one act lost his credibility and integrity for many. He has a big task in regaining the confidence of the public and youths; his credibility gap surrounding what happened at the Lekki Toll Plaza is not helped by the insensitive bluster of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the governor’s residence stating that those who were injured and presumably those who died had questions to answer.”

Though the group condemned the destruction of public assets and looting that trailed the shootings at the Lekki tollgate, it said the mayhem pointed to the alienation of a large number of youths from society by government.

It said, “The so-called hoodlums are the youths that have been denied any stake in society by the self-dealing and state capture that have characterised governance over the last 30 years. Millions of our youths have been uneducated, unemployable and with no meaningful social safety net. Even for the millions who are educated and skilled, long-term unemployment has been their experience in the Nigerian prebendal political economy that serves primarily the interests of public office holders and their cronies.

“Some of the ‘hoodlums’ responsible for the trashing of Lagos are the youths and ‘the toughies’ that many politicians have over the years employed to subvert the democratic process through intimidation of voters and perpetration of violence during elections.”

The group said the organisers of the #EndSARS protests deserved commendation for the resourcefulness, transparency and accountability which they demonstrated.

The group condemned “the growing reports of compilation of names of the assumed leaders and facilitators of the protests for government reprisals.”

It said, “Those that are being targeted are reportedly being prevented from travelling outside Nigeria while accounts of some have been frozen. This is hardly the hallmark of a democratic government that is interested in dialoguing with the youths or learning positive lessons from the #EndSARS protests. It is also a violation of the spirit of government’s acceptance of the 5 for 5 agenda. The President should stop all these acts of witch-hunt.”

The FSD solicited support for the Lagos State Government to rebuild and replace the vandalised public assets.

  • PunchNg

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• Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had been expected to be confirmed as leader on Monday

By Richard Partington

The race to find a new leader of the World Trade Organization has been thrown into renewed uncertainty after the cancellation of a key appointment meeting following the US presidential election.

The Geneva-based WTO, which acts as an international arbiter for trading disputes, said it had put off a meeting scheduled for Monday that had been called to appoint Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as its next director general.

Donald Trump’s administration opposed her selection in one of its final acts before the US election, despite the former Nigerian finance minister securing the overwhelming backing of the WTO’s 164 members.

The special meeting of the trade body’s general council had been convened to take a formal decision on the appointment. Officials had been set to put forward Dr Okonjo-Iweala as the candidate most likely to attract a majority, after most countries expressed a preference for her over South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee.

Okonjo-Iweala had moved a step closer to becoming the first woman and the first African to be director of the global trade watchdog after securing backing from the EU, China, Japan and Australia. Liam Fox, the leading Brexiter and former international trade secretary, had run as the UK government’s preferred candidate but failed to win enough support from other countries to reach the last two in the process.

Trade experts said Joe Biden defeating Trump in last week’s election may have led to countries calling for a delay in the WTO leadership race, with the aim of securing the Biden White House’s backing for Okonjo-Iweala after he takes charge in January.

The delay in selecting a new WTO director general comes at a fragile moment for the world economy amid the second wave of Covid-19, and after years of criticism of the WTO and calls for reform from Trump.

The WTO said the meeting would be postponed until further notice, during which time the organisation would continue undertaking consultations with delegations from countries around the world to pick a new leader.

It said in a statement: “For reasons including the health situation and current events, delegations will not be in a position to take a formal decision on 9 November.”

  • TheGuardian

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

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