Malam Nasir El-Rufai
Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai is the Kaduna State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate. He's a former Director General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises. He was also the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory from July 2003 to 2007.
El-Rufai was born on February 16, 1960 in Daudawa of Faskari local government area in Katsina State. His father died while young Nasir was 8 years old. He was sponsored through school by an uncle in Kaduna.
He attended the prestigious Barewa College, where he graduated at the top of the class, winning the coveted "Barewa Old Boys' Association Academic Achievement" Trophy in 1976. Incidentally, in Barewa College. He went off to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, earning a Bachelor degree in Quantity Surveying with First Class Honours. He also attended post-graduate programmes at Harvard Business School and Georgetown University. Since leaving public service, Nasir has completed an LL.B degree from the University of London, graduating in August 2008 with Second Class Honours, Upper Division, and a Master's degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in June 2009. He also has Kennedy School Certificate in Public Policy and Management.
He was the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory from 2003 to 2007. El-Rufai has had various nicknames throughout his period in politics and even before that, he's known as Giant by those close to him, a reference to his small size. He is also known as the Privatisation Czar, and more recently as Mr. Demolition.
During the last days of the Obasanjo administration, the former EFCC Chairman described El-Rufai as the "de facto No. 2 official", tagging him with the role of a Vice-President, especially after the fall-out between the former President and his Vice-President. It is believed that Obasanjo's trust and confidence in El-Rufai angered a vast number of the political elite within the country. Indeed, it was widely believed that the former president was considering blessing El-Rufai as his successor. However, some forces against him feared what might happen to them if he got into power.
Many view El-Rufai as an incorruptible public servant who can get difficult jobs done, especially after he ordered the demolition of the house of the chairman of the ruling party in Nigeria. However, since the end of the Obasanjo administration, El-Rufai has kept a very low profile, but still remains an Obasanjo loyalist having frequently defended the former president's policies. The administration of the late President Umaru Yar'adua appointed El-Rufai to the National Energy Council in September 2007, due to the belief that he could contribute positively to the under-achieving power sector of the country.
Nasir resigned the appointment in June 2008, and on 30 April and 7 May 2008, El-Rufai appeared before the Nigerian's Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory to explain some alleged corrupt actions of his administration. He attempted to justify his actions and stoutly rejected cynics views on the allegation that he allocated plots of land to his friends, brother and cronies, and it was clear that many of the senators lost properties during the restoration of Abuja by El-Rufai and were therefore just out to get their pound of flesh. To a vast amount of Nigerians, El-Rufai is simply being witched-hunted for stepping on the toes of the corrupt political elite.
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