Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Mallam Nasir El-Rufai says conspiracy of silence, a situation where public officers keep mute over challenges in governance, should no longer be encouraged.
Mr. El-Rufai made the observation at the presentation of his book ‘The Accidental Public Servant’ in Abuja on Thursday.
“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,” the former DG of the Bureau of Public Enterprises said.
The book is poised to become another controversial document, stemming from the fingers pointed by the writer at several former government officials over shady conduct while in office.
But speakers at the presentation argue that regardless of criticisms, public officers must be accountable and open to debates on their performance.
Some of the speakers at the event include the chairman Governing Board, Human Rights Commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu and former World Bank Vice President for Africa, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi lamido Sanusi.
There were lamentations over the total disregard for merit and competence of many public officers and the need for leaders to be transparent and accountable.
Adamant over Abuja Demolition
Meanwhile, several years after leaving office, Mr. El-Rufai, has remained adamant over the demolition of several buildings in the nation’s capital city during his tenure.
The former minister insists that he had to take drastic action to save Abuja from being turned into a slum by influential persons in the corridors of power.
Mr. El-Rufai claims he was able to dislodge the cabal distorting the Abuja Master Plan and using land allocations to enrich themselves at the expense of the country and its people.
“I love Abuja and gave nearly four years of my life to its restoration, orderliness and development,” he said.
Mr. El-Rufai ordered the demolition of hundreds of buildings within the Abuja metropolis and the satellite towns for the distortion of the city’s master plan to the chagrin of the house owners.