Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has described Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state, as a near-genius and one of the best persons to work with.
The former president said this when he paid a surprise visit to the governor at the government house, Kaduna, on Wednesday.
El-Rufai served in the first as director-general, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and later as minister for federal capital territory (FCT) during Obasanjo two-term administration.
Obasanjo described the governor as “a good student”, adding the Kaduna governor copied gender inclusiveness from his administration.
“He is one of the best persons to work with; El-Rufai is a near-genius,” Obasanjo said.
“We need a character like this, a man that you know where you stand with him. Any job given to him will be well done.
“I made women matter in my government. He has done the same in Kaduna. He is a very good learner.”
Obasanjo described his visit as homecoming, saying he is a “son of the soil” having built his first house in Makera area of the city between 1959 and 1967 when served at the Mogadishu battalion of the Nigerian army in Kaduna.
He said the battalion was the first to be “Nigerianised” and it had soldiers from all over the country.
In his response, el-Rufai, described the former president as a mentor, adding that he learned many public service skills from him when he served in his government.
He thanked Obasanjo for finding time to come to Kaduna “to see things for himself”.