I am No. 1000 on Jonathan's political watch list
When former President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote that there was a political
watch-list, many thought the grand old man of Nigerian politics was
hallucinating. But thanks to the former Minister of Federal Capital
Territory, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, we now know that there is indeed a list.
In fact, el-Rufai says he is number seven on the list. And also, because
he has seen the list, el-Rufai knows the name of those on the list. And
most of them are of the All Progressives Congress (APC) top guns.
Never mind that the diminutive man, with delusions of grandeur, thinks he
is so important that he should be number seven of President Goodluck Ebele
Jonathan's political foes.
But I suspect that such a list exists. The list is somewhere either in
the Library of the Navigator or the den of the Lion of Bourdillon and
leader of the APC.
I am miffed, and understandably so, at el-Rufai. A brief history will
suffice here. I was in Abuja when the story made the rounds that Obasanjo
gave the go-ahead to el-Rufai to roll out the bulldozers on demolition
He was said to have gone close the COJA Games (the All African Games) in
the National Stadium in Abuja, during which he was booed by spectators who
kept singing Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole! (Thief! Thief! Thief! Thief! Thief!)
Obasanjo was said to have maintained his cool as the embarrassment went
on, but as soon as he was through, he was said to have asked an aide (some
suspect it was the accidental public servant), who were those disgracing
him before the African public, and by extension, the international
community. The aide was said to have fingered the residents of Gwagwa,
Idu, Karmo (slums in the Federal Capital City).
That singular comment reportedly led to the blank cheque that was given
for the demolition of those shanties and such others in the city and its
suburbs. Others caught in the demolition saga, like former National
Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Col. Ahmadu Ali, were collateral
damages and part of a grand design to whip political enemies of Obasanjo
and his favourite son, el-Rufai, into line.
It was not that the former minister did not prosecute the restoration of
the master plan of Abuja with single-mindedness, but he added needless
wickedness with a high dose of diarrheic garrulity, as he hurled insults
at anyone who questioned him. His co-traveler and Lagos Governor, Raji
Fasola, did much more than el-Rufai, but he managed not to elicit the kind
of pathological hatred that was the lot of the loquacious nuisance.
And to think that the same man, who sent a lot of Igbo men back home with
his wickedness, went there a short while ago to attempt to monitor the
Anambra governorship elections! Was he hoping to be attacked so he could
point a finger of guilt at Abuja?
Perhaps, what has drawn my ire so much about this man who claims to be
from Zaria, but who enjoys using the tweeter so much that he makes
derisive remarks about his prophet and the Lord Jesus Christ, was the
comment on tweeter when an airplane he was on almost crashed and other
passengers, fearful about what was about to happen, resorted to calling
upon the names of Jesus Christ and Allah. He found their gesture funny and
said so on his tweeter page.
What manner of man is this that thinks that people should not call on
their God when in danger? This is the same man who always sought refuge
under the cover of Obasanjo whenever he ran into trouble with his enemies,
especially members of the National Assembly. It was better for him to run
to his then political father, but it was wrong for others to run to the
owner of the heavens and the earth.
A man who expended so much of tax-payers' money on an alleged girlfriend
he took on as a consultant, when she was eminently unqualified for such a
designation and emoluments and yet, he plays holy! I wonder if the APC
strategists know that el-Rufai is more of a liability.
Back to the political watch-list, if any, made popular by el-Rufai's
former godfather, Obasanjo. Many have said commentators and the
presidency should concentrate on the message in Obasanjo's letter rather
than the messenger. But what if the messenger is actually the message? I
mean, what if the message lacks credibility and the messenger throws his
weight of dubious credibility behind the message?
That is a matter for another day. el-Rufai claims that four other
prominent Nigerians like former military head of state, General (retd)
Muhammadu Buhari; former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu;
the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and Interim Chairman of the All
Progressives Congress, Chief Bisi Akande, are also on the list.
So if these prominent Nigerians, and others like Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso
(Kano), Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto), AbdulFatah (Kwara), Sule Lamido (Jigawa),
Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Bukola Saraki, Danjuma Goje, etc. are on this
phantom list, how did el-Rufai get to number seven; or was the list not in
order of political importance?
Amaechi has claimed that he is number one on the list. He made the
allegation at a rally of the APC held at the Liberation Stadium in Port
Harcourt, Rivers State, on December 28, 2013, where he formally declared
for the party. He had said: “I read the President's letter; he said
Obasanjo should prove and name those on the list. I am number one on the
list. I am number one.”
So Tinubu and Buhari are not that important to occupy the top numbers? In
his tweet, el-Rufai said: “On this note, I am going to bed. I am number 7
on the GEJ (Goodluck Ebele Jonathan) snipers' list; so I will only worry
when GMB (General Muhammadu Buhari), Asiwaju, Amaechi, Akande, etc., are
Now I am a little confused; are we talking about a political watch-list or
a sniper's list? Where is Obasanjo to iron out the differences? This is
because as I was preparing to doze off last night, I saw a list, and I was
number 1000 on the list, marked political watch-list (it could be sbiper's
list); I am however sure that before they get to me, if the targets are to
be hit in descending order, I would have flown to Russia for political
asylum. May be Putin will give me a room next door to Edward Snowden.