On a day his friends and associates converged on Abuja to celebrate him, courage betrayed the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir el- Rufai, and he broke down and wept openly.
El-Rufai, a courageous and controversial figure in the Obasanjo administration, who is both hailed as a hero by many and vilified as a villain by others, could hardly contain the tears of joy that flowed from his inner recesses when he noticed the mammoth crowed that witnessed the presentation of his new book "Accidental Public Servant" at the Yar'Adua Centre in Abuja Thursday.
I didn't know Nigerians will honour me this way-El-Rufai
"I never thought I could be so honoured; I am deeply touched and I do not really know what to say and how to say it given the calibre of persons and the large number of people who have turned out today to witness the presentation my book," the former minister said.
As he began to elaborate, tears flowed down his cheeks and those close by helped him with handkerchief and he ended his speech and was helped to his seat.
The former FCT minister, whose book presentation attracted mainly political bigwigs from the opposition political parties, however apologised for weeping in public, explaining that he wept because of the encomium poured on him.
"I was touched. The prayer by Pastor Sarah Omaku was very kind to me. I have never had any one speak about me in that manner, I just couldn't handle it I am sorry if I disappointed you," El-Rufai explained.
Before then, EL-Rufai had explained, "My hope is that you people will elicit 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," he said.