Just as living former and serving major political actors in Nigeria are exposed in Malam Nasir El-Rufai’s memoirs, ‘The Accidental Public Servant’, so is the dead! Although it is prayed that the dead should rest in peace, El-Rufai will not allow Nigeria’s former President, late Umaru Yar’Adua be as he has said that one of the reasons the late President failed in office was as a result of low self esteem.
In his 628-page memoir, El-Rufai said that Yar’Adua always fretted and felt insecure among brilliant minds; hence he avoided surrounding himself with enough competent hands who could disagree with him based on superior arguments.
According to the former minister, it was in the character of the late Yar’Adua to find a way to sever a relationship, once he discovered one to be outspoken, intelligent and independent-minded.
El-rufai claimed that it was because of his deep understanding of the personality of the late president that he declined working in that short-lived administration so as not to spoil their cordial relationship.
el-Rufai said: “Knowing Umaru better overtime and longer than most people that worked with him as president, I was convinced that working with him would damage our cordial relationship. One of Umaru’s basic problems was that he was insecure and could therefore be irrational about many things.
“Part of the reasons I think he failed as president was that this deep insecurity prevented him from surrounding himself with enough numbers of competent, independent-minded people who could disagree with him. This is because good people often have strong opinions and necessarily disagree with others, including their leaders. They are naturally confident, outspoken and will not always agree with the leader’s views and will say so.
“Umaru had no tolerance at all for people who argued or disagreed with him.
“Once a person disagreed with Umaru once or twice, that person would never have access to him, ever again, he would just block him out.”
In what might be an interesting expose on the late Yar’Adua’s first 100 days in office, El-Rufai said governance began to suffer because the late president felt intimidated by the volume of work and challenges of the office.
“What was happening behind the scenes, and I say this only after hearing it from multiple sources who were on the inside, was that after those first 100 days or so, Yar’Adua had given up on being able to run the Federal Government. His first week, the amount of paperwork that came to his desk was so overwhelming. He could not believe that the president was required to read all those memos and approve or comment on each one,” el-Rufai stated.