as RibaduÂ parleys with Jonathan
By Chioma Gabriel, Deputy Editor
Finally, former Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Malam Nasir el Rufai has decided to face the challenges at the homefront by returning to the country to confront the Yar ‘Adua people who levelled allegations of corruption against himÂ andÂ to contribute his quotaÂ in charting a way forward for Nigeria, even as former EFCC chairman Mallam Nuhu Ribadu expresses joy at the prospect of returning to Nigeria during his parley with Acting President Jonathan who visited the United States recently.
In a telephone conversation with our reporter, Malam El Rufai who is currently in Dubai said that he is coming home very soon to confront his accusers and clear himself.
â€œI have not decided on a date yet but I am coming back home very soon by the Grace of God.
“I am coming back but I have not decided whether its for politics or not. I have not decided what to do, but I will decide. I have friends, I have colleagues that I will talk to and we will jointly decide what we are going to do.
When I comeback, I will speak on that and I can even grant an interview.
â€œMy immediate concern when I get back home is to clear my name of all the allegationsÂ that the Yarâ€™Adua people published against me. That is what Iâ€™m coming back for. I am coming home to confront them because they are hypocrites and thieves.â€
Malam el Rufai, it must be recalledÂ went into exile at the heat of the allegations that he mismanaged his port folio as FCT Minister and sold properties to his cronies and family members at give away prices. He was later declared wanted by the EFCC but the ex-minister said the time to clear his name has come.
Over 75,000 buildings were reportedly demolished during his tenure and a sizeable proportion of the federal capital city was negatively affected by el-Rufaiâ€™s rampaging bulldozers.
The allocation ofÂ a plot of land that measures over one million square metres to former President Olusegun Obasanjoâ€™s company at Gauje in FCT was perceived to be outrageous and the peak of corruption by the quantity surveyor.Â Over 90 per cent of land allegedly revoked by Nasir el-Rufaiâ€™s administration were allegedly allocated to his and former President Olusegun Obasanjoâ€™s cronies, even as it was further alleged that due process was thrown to the wind during the former ministerâ€™s tenure at the FCT
â€œThe cases are already there and I think the time has come for me to confront my accusers and expose them for what they are: hypocrites and thieves. Thatâ€™s what they all are and these are the people I am coming to confront. I am not interested in anything else until that issue is tackled andÂ out of the way.
â€œMy name is intact.Â I have no skeletons in my cupboard. What they are doing is political manipulations but they are cowards and I must face that. Until I have confronted my accusers, Iâ€™m not thinking of any other thing else.â€
Asked if he is interested in 2011 general elections, Malam El Rufai said he has not taken any decisions on politics yet but that he has friends and political allies with whom to decide when that time comes. Reminded that political allies of the old block came to felicitate with him in Dubai on his 50th birthday, he said they were just his friends who came for his birthday party.
â€œWhat I had in Dubai was a mere birthday party. My friends came to celebrate my birthday with me and that was all. There was nothing else in it. Politics will wait. My urgent assignment is to confront my accusers over the Abuja property deals.â€ Asked what would be his contribution to acting President Jonathanâ€™s reforms, Malam El Rufai saidÂ the important thing is for Jonathan to do the right thing.
Also when contacted, it was a cheerful Nuhu Ribadu who picked his call and had a hearty laughter when asked when he would be coming home.
â€œ ALL is set.(Laughs). As you know, the acting President is in the United States and Iâ€™m heading for a conference. He would soon be speaking at the conference(laughs).â€
The Federal Government had recently dropped all charges against the former EFCC chairman and invited him to come and be part of the war against corruption in another dimension, an invitation Mallam Nuhu Ribadu is said to be seriously considering.
Nuhu Ribadu was one of the key Nigerians in diaspora who parleyed with acting President Jonathan during his visit to see the United States President, Mr Barrack Obama after which he granted interview to the CNN and the BBC.
The desire to return home by these key personalities in the Obasanjo regime was spear headed by acting President Jonathan who wants to use the best available NigerianÂ human resources in his bid to reform Nigeria and her democracy.
Former Federal Capital Territory, FCT minister, Malam Nasir el-Rufai has been in opposition against the decision of theÂ ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to zone the 2011 Presidency to the North, describing the move as akin to â€˜insanityâ€™.
Malam Nasir el Rufaiâ€™s positionÂ is that popularity with the electorate in a free and fair election should be the sole basis for winning elective positions and merit should likewise be the sole basis for appointive positions.
The perception of the former FCT Minister is said to be one of the views that have pavedÂ the way forÂ acting President Jonathan’s consideration toÂ Â partake in the 2011 elections against the dictates of the PDP zoning formula.