Authored By Former FCT Minister, Nasir Ahmad Rufai Feb.7th, Abuja
By Accident Is History Made
Accidents do happen and yes often times only a few of those accidents are good ones. Nasir?s accident with and in the civil service was a good and impactful one. That is why today we have a book as testimony to that accidental experience. For every accident in life, one must pause to appraise the situation, an evaluation of why it happened, the circumstances and lessons learnt are critical to whatever future decisions one has to take.
Many talk about their accidents in life, be it in public or in private, but only a few dare document it and share it in such a bold, blunt and daring manner like Nasir has done in the pages of his book, The accidental Civil Servant. In the pages of his book we learn wisdom, we glean brilliance and we are exposed to the follies, fooleries and vainness of power. We see exposed as mere mortals even those invested with enormous powers to lead Nigeria and direct our lives.
It is a book yet unrivaled in the annals of our history. The alacrity of its expositions, the candor with which the narrative unfolds and the intimacy of its revelations grant a delightful read and delivers an impactful work. Nasir was just not a spectator or a bystander; he was a player, constantly in the ring who later became one of the captains that battled for the sole of Nigeria. Nasir was not just an eye witness to power, he had his whole body in the power arena and that is why we must not be in a hurry to dismiss some of the most troubling revelations in his book.
In as much as Nasir may not and cannot exonerate himself from the all that happened, he has chosen a road less travelled by ?telling it all?. One of ?Yesterdays? men is coming clean. The power and courage of Nasir?s work is not just in the carefully woven narrative but in the mere fact that the key figures he has written alive are still alive and perhaps only one or two of them are dead. Hence, Nigerians should expect to get a few reactions and if lucky see more books churned out by a few who think Nasir has only told the story of that era from his own angle.
The most riveting of his narrative remains the criminal third term enterprise and how those elected to help build democracy worked tirelessly to subvert democratic tenets and turn Nigeria into a personal fiefdom. The compelling power of Nasir?s work is the fact that he has exposed us to the mind set of those that Nigerians have entrusted with power. He has captured the psychology of our leaders simply by exposing the underhand deals and bad boy behavior of a big man president.
Nasir is an angry man and that is understandable. He is weighed down by the failure of the project a few of them under the government they served envisioned. He has demonstrated in his revelations how most of those entrusted with power even at that time could not shed their baggage and put Nigeria first.
His book is not just a window into our world. It has opened a door that leads us into seeing up, close and personal what Nigeria is and how those that wield power behave and miss-behave. It is a book with the potential for a long shelf life and will remain a reference point for journalists, pundits, analysts and most of those in and out of power. Most importantly, the academia and students of Political science will benefit from it.
Thanks to Nasir, we now know that most of our leaders are soon overcome and consumed by their unbridled lust to power and that the public or Nigerians are mere irritants. Their protests and complaints are insignificant in a situation of absolute power and too much money. The resources of the country that ought to have been deployed to better the lives of the people are being used against them to perpetuate them in poverty and political enslavement.
Nasir through is this book has challenged all the others that took that power ride with him to come out and tell their stories. Nigerians want to know. However, most gratifying is the fact that some of what we knew happened and which we fought against have been confirmed by Nasir.
Sadly, the Nigerian narrative has not changed from what it was during the time Nasir has written about. The narrative has unfortunately worsened whereby Nigerians are saddled with a government concerned more about its survival, elongation in power and fighting imagined enemies than applying itself to running the country properly. Nasir tells us Nigeria still has a long way to go and the architects of a new Nigeria are not yet in place. What we have now are wayfarers, scavengers in the corridor of power and apologists, professionals whose ethics evaporate the moment they come in contact with the paraphernalia of power.
But there is help coming. Help is on the way as the opposition moves to form a brad based coalition that will send these characters out of power and put into gear the Nigerian project.
I commend Nasir for this rare courage. He has brought us closer to the truth and told us to our faces that there is something wrong with all of us, including him. Rather than shoot the messenger, let us take the message and run with it. We need more accidents like Nasir?s.
I thank you all.