The former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has come under fire from former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, who accused him of writing alleged fiction for self-glorification at the expense of truth.
Reacting to el-Rufai?s book, entitled, The Accidental Public Servant, the Media Office of Atiku, dismissed the book as a collection of “fiction, half-truths, exaggeration and reflection of selective memory”.
Atiku was particularly piqued by el-Rufai’s claim that he had almost resigned as the former Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises because of alleged persistent pressure and interference by him(the former VP), who was then the Chairman of the National Council on Privatisation.
Atiku expressed disbelief that the former FCT Minister forgot soon what he said at the Senate Public Hearing on BPE, held between August 8 and 13, 2011. That Adhoc committee was headed by Senator Ahmed Lawan.
He recalled that el-Rufai said he had special relationship with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, which gave him direct access and the discretion to bypass the Council on Privatisation, headed by Atiku in order to get the approval of the President.
He wondered how el-Rufai could reconcile his threat of resignation with the accounts he told the Senate about the latitude of freedom he enjoyed at BPE because of his closeness to former President Obasanjo.
On the claim by el-Rufai that former President Obasanjo went on bended knees before him to seek his cooperation for second term bid in 2003, Atiku dismissed the claim as a figment of el-Rufai’s wild imagination.
He said such a claim lacked any credibility because Atiku and Obasanjo were together behind closed doors, and that only the duo knew what actually transpired between them.
The statement also added that for a man like el-Rufai, who has a “notorious reputation for disparaging religions and their icons, the attack on Atiku was the least surprising”.
He noted that if he could go to such an irreverent extent to disparage religious icons, who is an ordinary mortal, like Atiku Abubakar, not to be disparaged by el-Rufai?
But in his reaction, El-Rufai advised Atiku and his team to read the book before passing judgment.
The former minister said, in an email signed by his spokesperson, Mr. Muyiwa Adekeye, that, “The Atiku team should read the book properly and respond to the detailed facts.
“For instance, their man should tell what happened with the NITEL GSM contract that Motorola lost to Ericsson, despite the American company submitting the lowest bid.”