by Stanley Azuakola
At the public book launch of The Accidental Public Servant, a book written by Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, various guests spoke and had salient points to make about the country, its direction, its leaders and the author of the book.
We’ve chosen our top 7 quotes from speeches and remarks made at the event. Read below:
1. “In Nigeria those who were strong destroyed the institutions, now our problem is basically to get the strong to rebuild the institutions so that we can sustain our development, otherwise we are really into a big trouble.”
– Former military ruler, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari
2. “Nasir is an angry man and that is understandable. He is weighed down by the failure of the project a few of them under the government they served envisioned. He has demonstrated in his revelations how most of those entrusted with power even at that time could not shed their baggage and put Nigeria first. His book is not just a window into our world. It has opened a door that leads us into seeing what Nigeria is and how those that wield power behave and misbehave. It is a book with the potential for a long shelf life and will remain a reference point for journalists, pundits, analysts and most of those in and out of power. Most importantly, the academia and students of Political Science will benefit from it.”
– Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Bola Tinubu, represented by ACN National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed.
3. “My hope is that you people will reflect on some of the things we did in government that were right and many of the things that we did that were mistakes. I think that lessons are learnt when additional memories are protected when people learn from what works and what doesn’t work and personal mistakes and errors of leaders. That is how to build a nation; that is how future generations learn and this is why I wrote the book, I don’t think we should have the conspiracy of silence about how our government is being run, I think we should talk openly about it, celebrate what we did right and admit where we made mistakes and name names so that people will know that when you are in leadership position, history will judge you, that is what is my biggest motive here.”
– Author of The Accidental Public Servant and former minister of the FCT, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.
4. “El-Rufai is no more a political activist, but a statesman. He cares more about what happens in the country. The content of the book is not something that can be said by someone whose objective is to return to power.”
– Book reviewer, Professor Chidi Odinkalu
5. “I always tell people that our problem is not corruption, but disregard for merit and competence. In our private lives, we entrust the most important things to people we trust but we left important national issues in the hands of those with nothing to offer; People should be judged by their character and not their affiliations.”
– Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
6. “I am one of those in the PDP praying for the merger to work; it will rationalise Nigerian politics and put an end to riff-raffs and charlatans in government. People have been coming to me to ask me if I am interested in the Presidency and I said yes. I am prepared for The Presidency, I am not an accidental leader; I am prepared for the Presidency, but I won’t comment on when I will run.”
– Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu
7. “In as much as Nasir may not and cannot exonerate himself from all that happened, he has chosen a road less travelled by telling it all. One of yesterday’s men is coming clean.”
– ACN leader, Bola Tinubu.