Daily Trust (Abuja)

27 February 2013

Nigeria: El-Rufai - More Books Coming About Nigeria's Leaders

Lagos — Former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, said yesterday that he deliberately ignores critics of his book, Accidental Public Servant, because many of them have not read it.

He said the critics could attack him on pages of newspapers and electronic media, adding that "the criticism is immaterial because they cannot deny the facts as stated in the book because they actually happened".

El-Rufai, who spoke during the public presentation of his book in Lagos said, "The book is my contribution to the development of the country, because over 70 per cent of the nation's population who are below 35 years are yet to experience good governance. There is a lot to write about what has been going on behind the scene at the corridors of power in Abuja. I could have written about the number of girlfriends these people have because it would sell and it will expose them the more. But, I deliberately left such issues out of the book because I believe it is a personal thing. Such issues are between them and their God, but how the nation was led by our leaders is one issue we should not be afraid to discuss. In fact, I've tried just five chapters of the original manuscript and I will still write more books," he said.

Host of the event, Pastor Tunde Bakare, condemned the media 'war' that followed official presentation of the book a couple of weeks ago in Abuja.

Expressing gratitude to Mallam El-Rufai for having the guts to write such book, Bakare said denials from people mentioned in the book are uncalled for. He said if they are sure that El-Rufai's account as published in Accidental Public Servant, is far from the truth, they should write their own books too.

"I thank Mallam El- Rufai for opening the can of worms. I've read biographies of most prominent leaders in Nigeria and other books from Nigerian authors, but none has inspired public debate like this one. The likes of ex- Vice President Atiku should not be playing politics with the book. If he is angry with the book, let him write his own," Bakare said.

In his address, publisher of the book, Chief Joop Berkhout, said "I was worried when I read through the manuscript. I told El-Rufai that if we attempt to publish this book, we would both end up and rot in Kirikiri prison. But he assured me that things have changed in the country, and that Nigerians want a change and good governance. Citizens like Mallam El-Rufai, who are bold, courageous and ready to say truth are the future of Nigeria".

Berkhout added that El-Rufai deserves commendation and not condemnation.

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