By Gwiyi Solomon
To the residents and inhabitants of the Federal capital Territory, FCT, Gov. Nasir El-Rufai’s name remains an anathema; it sends jitters to their spines as his destructive tendency, callously demonstrated during his implementation of the Abuja master plan, as FCT minister, remains a major scar on his victims.
To the non-Muslim communities across the nation, particularly the Christian group, and to the defenseless indigenous people of Southern Kaduna, “El-Rufai is a religious bigot, a terror in the day, ethnic extremist at night and bloody chief executive of all time.”
Gov. Nasir El-Rufai is a man that needs no introduction in the Nation’s political atmosphere any longer. His name rings a bell in the minds of Nigerians for every sinister motive.
He is a man sold to controversy. And he stires same at will and gets away with it unhurt. Reason: whenever the diminutive.
Governor speaks, his speeches only reveal a bigger plan, hatched by the elites – probably his religious community, his Northern block or the Presidency.
This time around, it is “battle royale” as Gov. El-Rufai has taken up the daunting task and new assignment of retiring the largest landlord in the entire African continent, the Asiwaju of Lagos and his national leader. He has dared the lion of Bourdillon, Ahmed Bola Tinubu right inside the Lion’s den.
The day was Saturday, 4th day of May 2019; and the event was organised by the Bridge Club in Ikoyi, Lagos State; with the tag, “An evening with His Excellency Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State.”
Speaking during the program, Gov. El-Rufai had sold a dummy to his Host – Lagosians – on how to be freed and liberated from the clutches of his national leader, the godfather of Lagos, Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
The free talking chief executive had narrated how he defeated and retired about four godfathers in Kaduna state; and even boasted that Lagos can borrow a leaf from him and send Tinubu home as godfather.
“Godfatherism. This is Lagos. Let me tell you something Sir; you know, Kaduna State used to be like that. There were three or four politicians in Kaduna that you could not become anything unless you had them on your side,” Premium Times quoted Mr El-Rufai as saying.
”Those were the godfathers of Kaduna politics and you had to carry them along and you know, the three words, ‘carry them along’ mean paying them regularly.
“But we chose a different path and the long and short of it now is that after this election in 2019, we have retired all of them; we had to,” he added.
“The card reader and the biometric register have given us the tools to connect directly with the people. I assure you if you do that for the next four years, connecting with the people; the tin godfather, you will retire him or her permanently,” he concluded.
Recall that at the berth of the present democracy in the country some years back, many analysts had compared Ahmed Bola Tinubu to the late Chief Olusola Saraki, the strong man of Kwara politics and late Chief Adedibu, the political godfather of Oyo state. But he has surpassed the duo’s achievements politically.
Then came his comparism with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of the country, and late chief Obafemi Awolowo, former premier of the western region, in terms of their command of influence among the people; yet Asiwaju has remained unbent.
At Bourdillion where he lives, strategically quartered in Ikoyi, Lagos state, the only language discernible to the ears crested on the walls and prowling the power house is game; wriggling, outwitting and political horse-trading.
It is the very reason for the gargantuan edifice. And the very essence for which it has existed. Inside the Bourdillon, destinies and fortunes of individuals have been incubated, nurtured to maturity and even harvested; yet inside the same edifice, many blooming fortunes have been truncated, stolen, killed and destroyed by the inhabitants, led by their lion.
Put succinctly: Asiwaju, known and addressed as “the lion of bourdillon” has removed governors from their places of honor, and goaded others to same places of influence even beyond the west; he has installed Senators, as well as uninstalled many without hitches; he has shipped members of the House of Representatives, in their numbers across the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the National Assembly as well as derobbed others.
He has equally dethroned a president (with reference to 2015), and twice enthroned another.
In the APC fold where he reigns supreme, he is like that biblical rock of ages: “whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.”
The governor Ambode’s humiliation and national embarrassment can best attest to the infinite possession of power by this Lion. His nomination and elevation of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to the Vice president of the country is yet another confirmation that inside Bourdillon, everything is possible.
The Rochas Okorocha’s travails, the Governor Amosun’s political impasse and many more are the footages of Bourdllon.
In the South western region and across the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the Asiwaju of Lagos, has remained one looming and overbearingly embossing image over every other political creature therein.
But the big question remains: Can El-Rufai upstage the Asiwaju of Lagos and bring down the Wall of Bourdillon? The stage has been set. And Nigeria is the theatre. Let us wait and see.
*Gwiyi Solomon writes from Uzo Uwani LGA, Enugu State.