As expected, criticisms for Mallam Nasir el-Rufai’s book, The Accidental Public Servant, poured in from different people who felt slighted by its contents but the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory is not bothered as the attacks were “contrary to the facts” in the book.
He said instead, they were largely based on ignorance of the facts in the book as well as personal attacks against his person.
The book – a memoir of el-Rufai’s time in government touches on the roles allegedly played by some personalities like President Goodluck Jonathan; Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; the late President Umaru Yar’Adua; former President Olusegun Obasanjo; his former deputy, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; ex-Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; ex-head of state, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari; and the first civilian governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife.
He said, “I have written a book. Not everyone will be happy with the facts contained in it, particularly those that show ambitious people as imperfect.
“They will criticise and opine contrary to the facts. But I am yet to see any rebuttal of the facts stated in TAPS (The Accidental Public Servant).
“Some have not even read the book but offered opinions on its contents and the author. I will not respond to such people.
“No matter how long it takes, Nigerians will know the character make-up of all of us in public life. Facts are sacred, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.”
On Ezeife’s threat to seek legal redress over some aspects of the book, el-Rufai replied, “Ezeife …why is he threatening? Let him sue. As for the others, what facts are they controverting? None. Opinions without reading the book.
“I am a strong supporter of free speech, no matter how foolish. Everyone is entitled to opinions. Be specific on facts or just let me be.”