By Henry Umoru
ABUJAâ€”FORMER Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Mallam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai, Wednesday , described his encounter with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as nice.
He told newsmen in Abuja: â€œIt was a nice experience. We actually spent two to three hours. The rest we were waiting but the conversation with them took two to three hours.â€
Mallam El-Rufai who apologized to journalists for the action of his driver towards them at the EFCC premises said he cannot be rude to journalists knowing his antecedents and his relationship with the media.
He said: â€œThank you for raising that. I felt bad because it was wrong and I apologize. But we had a long day and my handlers just wanted me to go home but there was no excuse to trample on anybody. I am sorry about it.â€
The former minister who promised to offset medical bills of the injured reporters, said: â€œNo problem, if you give me their names I will go to their houses and greet them, I am sorry.
“I was at the Code of Conduct Tribunal to witness the case of Federal Republic of Nigeria against my friend, Nuhu Ribadu.
â€œI know Femi Falana will give you details because he was the one that did it all. I felt very, very happy because the case against Nuhu Ribadu which was a fictitious case in the first place was withdrawn. I think it was Osita Okechukwu who said no matter how bad falsehood runs it would be overtaken by the truth. Nigeria has moved to a point that truth is finally overtaking falsehood.
â€œIn my 23-month exile, I have had to go back to read Plato and Aristotle and all that and I have learnt a lot. However, one quote tended to stick to my mind and I never came across it until in the last few years. Plato said something like this that the danger society faces when good and honest men become disinterested in government business is that they will be ruled by worse men and I think that is what has happened to Nigeria.
Preference for civil service
â€œI donâ€™t know where it began but I think in the beginning this country presented its best and brightest in the public service and somewhere along the line all the best people either left the country, went to the academia or to work for oil companies, telecoms companies or banks, out of frustration.
â€œWhat we are seeing particularly in the last one year is that the real hero in Nigeria today is civil society. But for the action of the Save Nigeria Group and others that stood up for what is right, I think Nigeria would still be in a constitutional crisis and the leadership vacuum today. ”
El-Rufai stressed that those who belong to the class of 1966 plunged the country into the present political, economic and social mess, adding that against this backdrop, Nigerians should just thank them politely.
He said: â€œWe must end the rule of the class of 1966. Let me explain what the class of 1966 is. These are people that terminated our first republic and they have been ruling Nigeria either directly or indirectly since then.”