Onyebuchi Onyegbule: El-Rufai, his mouth and self-destruct

The Herald NG
6 Min Read

El-Rufai as erstwhile minister of the Federal Capital Territory made waves with the demolition of people’s property. In some justified, in much vindictive but massively hedged by the Obasanjo administration. Because he went free, he has continued to behave as a voice, though not many believe he is. His antics are familiar: always under somebody to wrought mischief.


From Obasanjo, now to Buhari, and I’m sure before the general realises what’s under him, the damage is done. Hear him: ‘If Jesus criticises Jonathan’s government, Maku, Abati or Okupe will say that he slept with Mary Magdalene.’

First, the trio of Maku, Abati and Okupe must be doing a job worth their hire; most likely, they’ve not been giving El-Rufai’s insinuations sway. But how did Jesus come into the comparison? More so, how come the insinuation of Jesus sleeping with Mary Magdalene? Going into Rufai’s mind, he was probably trying to say, even if a righteous person says something against Jonathan, his missile-trio would counter it. But then, does it make sense to allude sin to the same righteous person? That’s incongruent and against logic. To have gone to the extent of using a revered Holy Personality for a misguided illustration depicts something between obscenity and viral bigotry. Yet these are people who had counted as our leaders.

To clear El-Rufai a little bit, if he read the scripture he tried to misrepresent well, Jesus did not come from male-female intercourse. He was already there before Joseph knew Mary. If he didn’t come through sex, could he have given sex? Do you give what you don’t have? To people like El-Rufai, loving means zipping down. The other side of meeting the intrinsic need of someone isn’t known to them. Helping Mary Magdalene come out of prostitution into salvation opened her up to a life that’s true, full of light and fulfilling. That’s the love that Jesus Christ gave, not the viral one in El-Rufai’s head. There are many helpless people like El-Rufai ut there who need light. Because they are in darkness, they make things look dark enough before they make sense.

It’d be interesting to know how Buhari responds to this. He himself has been severally accused of religious bigotry. If he has been losing elections, that’s the reason. His fellow Muslims trust him, we don’t. A principled man, quite well, but who will he be with power? Now to have an El-Rufai say something of this nature under him and going free with it simply means he was sent to test the waters in readiness for the destructive thing underneath. This is why it’s important to see what Buhari does. If campaign towards 2015 has begun, El-Rufai has fired the wrong salvo that’ll reverberate adversely at the appropriate time. Alluding sexual misplay to Jesus Christ means sourcing for someone better; with the chant of Islamising Nigeria, the suspicion grows. These are posers for the general. Politics is such a sensitive trade. The word of one can break the spine of another. Buhari’s effort at power quest is a repeat song. But at each time, things from within rise and pull him down. First the ANPP, now a chieftain of his very party. Pastor Tunde Bakare, also of the same political house, attacked CAN rather than correct El-Rufai. He called CAN’s protest diversionary; now you ask, which is the issue: CAN’s reaction or El-Rufai’s allusion? If the former, then you wonder what’s taking precedence in the clergy’s mind: clearing the name JESUS or gracing loyalty to party? Someday he’ll answer this question.

I know one thing: not everything is free. Some carry penalty, especially the divine. The tongue can bring them about and men of caution don’t stray there easily. When such penalties come, El-Rufai should not look elsewhere.

Tuning back, you discover that most of these young men who went into politics and left after 4 or 8 years return to boredom and the hound of irrelevance. At 40-something, they’re already ex-this and ex-that and not knowing what to do with the years ahead. Besides, they hurt/despised many while in office thinking it’s forever. Now back to the ordinary, they can’t cope. A great many of them now suffer infirmities of sorts in their solitary enclaves; those of them who manage to squeeze in somewhere talk recklessly or become attack-dogs, just to be heard. These point to one thing: in the African context, age, experience and maturity count.

Somebody aware of the impact of word on behaviour is more guarded; somebody aware that money alone isn’t happiness won’t loot feverishly; somebody aware that relevance is a function of character content won’t dare tamper with the divine to get it. Life-tested minds, that’s what our politics needs. El-Rufai, though having served, doesn’t have the drill of decorum.

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