by Dare Lawal
In the past three weeks, since the launch of The Accidental Public Servant by Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, at the Shehu Musa Yaradua Centre in Abuja, hardly a day has passed without a new review on the book or the launch.
There is an absence of proper records in Nigeria, but surely, El-Rufai’s book is well on its way to becoming the most talked about and reviewed book (fiction or non fiction) in Nigeria’s recent history.
Commentators, readers and even some of the characters mentioned in the book have had their say, and through all of these, the author, Nasir El-Rufai has remained largely silent. Everyone knew it was only a matter of time.
El-Rufai has finally given a part response to critics of the book, claiming that their arguments were largely based on ignorance of the facts in the book as well as personal attacks against him.
“I have written a book. Not everyone will be happy with the facts contained in it, particularly those that show ambitious people as imperfect.
“They will criticise and opine contrary to the facts. But I am yet to see any rebuttal of the facts stated in TAPS (The Accidental Public Servant).
“Some have not even read the book but offered opinions on its contents and the author. I will not respond to such people.
“No matter how long it takes, Nigerians will know the character make-up of all of us in public life. Facts are sacred, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.”
A former speaker of the House of Representatives, Ezeife, had threatened to seek legal redress against El-Rufai. The controversial ex-minister welcomed it.
“Ezeife …why is he threatening?” he said. “Let him sue. As for the others, what facts are they controverting? None. Opinions without reading the book.
“I am a strong supporter of free speech, no matter how foolish. Everyone is entitled to opinions. Be specific on facts or just let me be.”