Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola had his 63rd birthday colloquium on Saturday, and he had a rare compliment from his party man and Kaduna Gov Nasir El-Rufai who eulogized him and, in the same breath, gave him a dogtag.
The Kaduna governor, in a benign manner, revealed Aregbesola is a poodle.
“You know I’m your man any day. I’m not Asiwaju’s man and you are Asiwaju’s man,” he said during his teleconferenced speech on the occasion.
That was a joke, in a sense. But el-Rufai doesn’t come across as a clown most times.
And, truly, the celebrant proved eventually he’s exactly what the APC governor branded him.
While appreciating the panelists assembled to give their expert takes on the topic—ABC—for discussion, Aregbesola thank a couple of people, with special notes, in not so particular order.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for encouraging him all along. (Maybe from 2015—because Buhari’s CPC, before its merger with Aregbesola’s ACN, Tinubu’s party, were enemies.)
“The second person who has played a very huge role in making me a good public administrator is Asiwaju Bola Tinubu,” he said. “He [Tinubu] takes all the glory, apart from God.”
It was a good thing Aregbesola didn’t reject el-Rufai’s tag. It’s a mark of loyalty, a mark the Kaduna governor lacks, a lack obvious to many of his benefactors, including ex-VP Atiku Abubakar and even Buhari on whose talakawa-famous integrity el-Rufai rode to become governor in 2015 when the APC toppled the ruling PDP across most of Nigeria.
“I’m not Asiwaju’s man…,” el-Rufai emphasized. “Asiwaju and I have differences but you….”
His differences with Tinubu are closely connected to 2023, political observers will readily say. The two are believed to be eyeing the presidency after Buhari, though neither has made their intention public.
But the Lagos god father and the accidental civil servant was once rosy.
Tinubu called him by fine names when the governor launched his book he entitled ‘The Accidental Civil servant” years ago.
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