Wednesday, 8 August 2012

El-Rufai to Jonathan: Quit if you can’t solve Nigeria’s problems

As the spate of
violence escalates,
particularly in the North,
former Minister of the
Federal Capital Territory,
Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has
asked President Goodluck
Jonathan to quit if he could
not solve the growing
security threats to lives and
property in the country.
In an exclusive interview
with Vanguard yesterday, el-
Rufai said it was indefensible
for the government to allow
innocent souls to be
slaughtered daily without
any response from the
administration. El-Rufai
spoke against the backdrop
of Chief Edwin Clark’s
assertion that northern
leaders were not doing
enough to curtail the Boko
Haram sect, apparently to
bring down the
While dismissing Clark’s
allegation as untenable, the
former minister warned the
elder statesman to desist
from making inflammatory
and unverified statements
capable of exposing him to
ridicule instead of applause
that he deserves at his age.
El-Rufai also asked the
former federal information
commissioner to desist from
insulting northern leaders at
the slightest opportunity.
According to him, Jonathan
has already made it clear to
Nigerians and the
international community that
the gale of bombings in the
land was beyond the
capability of his
administration to handle, a
situation, he described as
unfortunate. He stated that
other Nigerian heads of state
had at different times and
periods been confronted
with serious challenges and
they deployed appropriate
state apparatus to deal with
them without resorting to
wrong quarters and the
ordinary citizens for help.
“Why is it that only President
Jonathan cannot solve
Nigeria’s security problem?
el-Rufai asked.
“If he cannot do the job for
which he was elected to do,
he should consider going
home. No president has ever
sought the help of the
ordinary people in tackling
security problems in this
“The protection of lives and
property of the citizens is the
basis of any government in
power and if the leadership
has failed woefully to deploy
the resources and
information at its disposal to
enforce coercive power for
the benefit of the society,
then it had no reason to stay
on,” he stated.
He said the current situation
in the country had made
many Nigerians to be
worried about the future of
the country, warning that if
urgent steps were not taken
to reverse the dangerous
trend, the country could be
plunged into a deeper crisis.
On the controversy over the
implementation of the
budget, the former minister
maintained that if the budget
had worked, it would have
brought some relief to the
ordinary citizens who had
almost been choked by the
economic stagnation in the
country. “Yes, all of us would
have seen the results if the
budget had been well
implemented. A good
economic system shows in
the quality of lives of the
people and does not end on
the pages of newspapers,”
he added. The former
minister said the finance
minister alone cannot
change the current gloomy
economic outlook in the
country, as a tree cannot
make a forest.
On the allegations that he
was making noise
preparatory to contesting
the presidential election in
2015, he cautioned those
making the claims to wait for
2015, pointing out however,
that he was qualified to do
so if he wanted.

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