The All Progressives Congress (APC) has condemned the harassment of its Deputy National Secretary, Nasir El-Rufai, by the Department of State Security (DSS).
In a statement issued by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Mr Lai Mohammed, the party expressed shock that the DSS was seeking to arrest El-Rufai for merely exercising his constitutional right of free speech.
It said there was nothing inciting or extraordinary in the statement credited to Mr El-Rufai that “there might be violence if the 2015 general elections were not free and fair”.
“We wonder why the DSS has suddenly found its agility, after playing dead when people like Mr Edwin Clark, Asari Dokubo and Chukwuemeka Ezeife issued a direct threat to Nigeria’s continued existence over president Goodluck Jonathan’s second term ambition,” the statement read.
The party described the storming of the party official’s residence in Abuja by armed DSS operatives on Friday, without producing any arrest warrant as a ‘shameful overkill’.
An Abuja High Court has freed former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai, of charges of abuse of power.
The former FCT minister, now a leading member of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, was charged under the Corruption and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 for using his position to corruptly revoke a plot of land from its previous owners – Power Holding Company of Nigeria Plc – and re-award same to his wife, Hadiza Ahmed El-Rufai.
The court gave the verdict acquitting Mr. El-rufai of criminal charges on Friday morning.
In his reaction, Mr El-Rufai said that he holds no grudges against his accusers. His media aide, Muyiwas Adekeye said: “It is a vindication he never doubted will come, confident in his innocence and the integrity with which he served this country.”
“Despite the magnitude of the pains he has endured, El Rufai has decided to put all this in the past. He intends to move on, stepping confidently into the future with forgiveness and goodwill, devoid of the cobwebs of grudge.”
Contrary to claims by President Goodluck Jonathan that members of the extremist group, Boko Haram are faceless, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai on Tuesday said the president knows who leaders of the group were.
Mr El-Rufai, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said the Federal Government knows much more about the sect then what they are letting out to the public.
The former minister said, “I think President Jonathan knows the leaders of Boko Haram because at one point he said that Boko Haram members are in his government. Who are those members that have infiltrated his government?”
Speaking at a town hall meeting last week during his visit to Damaturu, Yobe State, one of the areas worst hit by terror attacks, President Jonathan said granting amnesty to Boko Haram members was unlikely for now because members of the group have remained “ghosts” with no one coming forward to admit membership of the sect.
“You cannot declare amnesty for ghosts. Boko Haram still operates like ghosts. So, you can’t talk about amnesty for Boko Haram now until you see the people you are discussing with. When you call the Niger Delta militants, they will come; but nobody has agreed that he is Boko Haram; no one has come forward. If amnesty can solve the situation, then no problem, but nobody has come forward to make himself visible,” the president had said.
A former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai on Tuesday said he supports the creation of community police as a means of dealing with the raising waves of insecurity in Nigeria.
Mr El-Rufai, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said once the States and Local Government councils are allowed to have their own police, the government should then review the country’s criminal law and categorise crimes into Federal, state and local.
He said, “I think a large percent of security begins with the community. If you can make the community secure, you are less likely to have crimes at the state level and federal level. If you can make states secure, you are less likely to have crimes at federal level.
Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai on Tuesday said that President Goodluck Jonathan should listen to the advice from the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar and the Borno Elders Council on how to deal with the militant insurgence in Northern Nigeria.
Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr El-Rufai said rather than dismiss the call of the Sultan to declare amnesty for members of extremist group, Boko Haram, President Jonathan should consider the carrot and stick approach in quelling terrorism.
He said, “The government should have an open mind to exploring every solution. If the Sultan of Sokoto speaks, I think people should take what he says with a little bit more seriousness than be dismissive.
“When the Borno Elders, including people that were ministers when President Jonathan was wearing napkin, people like that should be listened to and whatever they suggest should be explored.”
Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai has accused the Federal Government of wanting the Boko Haram insurgency to continue for selfish reasons.
Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr El-Rufai faulted President Goodluck Jonathan’s statement suggesting that members of the Boko Haram group are ghosts.
He said, “over a thousand Boko Haram operatives are in the custody of the SSS here in Abuja,” hence the Government cannot claim to not know who the terrorists are. He added that he knows the government has a lot of information about the Islamist group.
“What is lacking is the will to address this issue. I think the government just wants this to continue because it is profitable for the security agencies to have huge budgets, most of which is stolen.” He said.
The former minister also said that the government which has over time requested the help of people such as himself, the Sultan of Sokoto and the Borno Elder’s Council, in talking to the extremist group has also accused them of being ‘Boko Haram Sympathisers.’
Watch the video below for the complete interview with Mr El-Rufai
Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai has called on the federal government to explore the option of granting amnesty to members of the Boko Haram sect as requested by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammad Saad Abubakar (III).
He stated that the sole use of military force to tackle the insurgency cannot work as it has never worked in any part of the world.
“There is nowhere in the world where insurgencies have been defeated using force alone. You must have a carrot and stick approach and if amnesty is that carrot that will lead us to some peace in the country, I think it is worth exploring.”
The Former Minister of FCT made this known on our breakfast programme Sunrise Daily, where he also faulted President Goodluck Jonathan’s claim that the members of the fundamentalist sect are ghosts.
According to him “it is very disingenuous for President Jonathan to say that Boko Haram members are ghosts because the federal government have made several statements on its relations and discussions with the sect.”
“It is very disingenuous for security operatives to say that they don’t know Boko members when over 1,000 members have been arrested and are in detention” he added.
He further accused the government of being disinterested in resolving the issue and is trying to encourage the uprising with a view at destroying a part of the country.
The politician alleged that “the government just want this (insurgency) to continue because it profitable for the security agencies with more money being budgeted for them.”
Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nasir El-Rufai on Thursday said the report on the operations on the Nigeria oil and gas sector presented by the Chairman of the Petroleum Revenue Task Force, Nuhu Ribadu is substantially satisfactory.
Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, the former minister said, though the report may have some shortcomings, the Federal government should not ‘throw the baby with the bath water.’
Mr El-Rufai said: “That somebody submitted a report and said ‘I have figures but you need to crosscheck them’ does not make the report incomplete or useless.”
He said the Federal Government should consider all the recommendations of the report and identify those that can be implemented.
“They should not question the integrity of the whole report just because a couple of members, clearly with interest, have spoken out against the report. The report is substantially ok. More than 20 members of the committee have not come out to disown the report. The other three have not written a minority report.
“Steve Oronsaye and Nuhu Ribadu are both friends of mine, but here I must say Steve is wrong to say that because of his fidelity to process as an accountant the whole report should be thrown out. I don’t agree with that,” he said.
The former minister insisted that there is no discrepancy between the two versions of the Ribadu report in circulation and that if the government implements the recommendations in the reports, the Nigeria oil and gas sector will be better managed.
A fellow of the Chartered Institute of Accountants, Ademola Ogunkunle on Thursday said, contrary to the allegations of the Chairman of the Petroleum Revenue Task force, Nuhu Ribadu that Steve Oronsaye never attended the panel’s meetings; that the former head of civil service attended four of eight meetings.
Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Ogunkunle said he was privy to the minutes of the 26-man committee and that Mr Oronsaye’s name appeared on the attendance register of four of the panel’s meeting.
There was a faceoff between Mr Ribadu and Oronsaye during the presentation of the committee’s report to President Goodluck Jonathan with the former accusing the latter of not participating in the panel’s work.
Mr Oronsaye also disclaimed the report presented by Mr Ribadu insisting that the figures in the report were not verified.
A former member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Babatunde Ogala, who was also a discussant on Sunrise Daily said what Mr Oronsaye did on the day his committee presented its report to President Goodluck Jonathan was ‘a show of shame.’
He said the former Head of Service ‘has shown himself to be a man that is even not fit to hold any office in this country.”
The former lawmaker said it was irresponsible for Mr Oronsaye to have verbally disclaimed a report presented by a committee he was a part of, without presenting a minority report to the President.
“If you did not agree with the majority report, have yours ready,” he said.