by Mohammed Seidu
Anytime the question of who is behind the abduction of Chibok girls is asked, I remember the poem, Mr. Nobody which we recited back then in primary school. Spare my memory; it’s been a while since I left primary school. With the risk of infringing on copyright, I narrate the poem, as I can still vividly remember the first verse:
As quiet as a mouse,
Who does the mischief that is done
In everybody’s house!
There’s no one ever sees his face,
And yet we all agree
That every plate we break was cracked
By Mr. Nobody
I have done my very best to find out who the author of this poem is to no avail. These lines may be the important clue to deciphering the “abductor” of the Chibok Girls, and the author of the group campaigning for the rescue of the kidnapped girls.
I have written in my earlier articles about Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and his ambition to lead Nigeria at all cost, come 2019. In one case, I warned Nigerians to watch out for the danger the man portends, should he become the President of Nigeria. He will climb any mountain; travel any distance or even dig deep into the lowest valley for him to achieve his ambition. This much I know about El-Rufai.
No one should be under any illusion anymore about the fiction known as Chibok Girls and their kidnap. The politicians from Northern extraction fed us with this “gospel” since last year and we took it hook, line and sinker. Little did we know that the mastermind of the whole script was the man known publicly as El-Rufai. He was the “abductor” of the girls on the one hand and the campaigner for their release on the other hand. He is the one the poet in the poem was referring to when he said, “Who does the mischief that is done / In everybody’s house! / There’s no one ever sees his face,”
Invariably, he is the accuser and the judge at the same time. This only convinces me just how much we underestimate people like El-Rufai.
Even if some people take the aforementioned statements of mine with a wave of the hand, some of the things I will reveal later in this article must be enough to convince even the most ridiculous of all doubting Thomases about the notoriety of this our able Mr. Nobody. Recall, Mr. Nobody is the mischief-maker just to achieve his own selfish ambition.
Mallam El-Rufai’s political appointments since he became Governor of Kaduna state have had their best share of controversies. My previous articles have properly documented the intrigues in his appointment of characters like Jimi Lawal, a well-known scammer and fraudster, as Special Assistant on Investment. For time and space, I will not retell those here. His more recent controversial appointment which confirms El-Rufai’s role in the whole Chibok Girls’ saga is his appointment as chief of staff, Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, the co-founder of the notorious #BringBackOurGirls group that made things difficult for former President Jonathan.
A curious observer is made further confused by the fact that apart from the fact that Ms. Hadiza is a known All Progressive Congress (APC) supporter, like Mr Jimi Lawal, she is not from Kaduna. Although, a little bit of clarity may present itself when one finds out that Ms. Hadiza did not just start doing hatchet jobs for El-Rufai. As a matter of fact, she stood as El-Rufai’s chief agent during the APC primaries in Kaduna. Any curious observer will immediately see the connection. Ms. Hadiza is now being handsomely rewarded for her labour of love and for properly acting out her part of the whole Chibok Girls fiction.
At this point let us introduce another character into our story; Mrs. Oby Ezekwezili. Having lost her hold on power since her stint with the Obasanjo administration and with no other route into the World Bank’s complex bureaucratic structure, she gladly accepted to play a major role for El-Rufai by joining and ultimately leading the #BringBackOurGirls group. Mind you, being an indigene of Imo state played in her favour. El-Rufai, being a smart man, only made Ms. Usman the founder and Mrs. Ezekwezili the convener, so that the group is not seen as a Northern ploy against President Jonathan, a southerner. The role of the former Minister of Mines and Solid Minerals is therefore very clear in that regard. Whoever says El-Rufai is not smart needs to invent another meaning for that word.
Let’s now close the circle: “Madam Due process” as Mrs. Ezekwezili is sometimes called, understood every word in her job description and knew that no mistakes would be permissible under her new appointment. We are all witnesses to how she did her job well and the attendant drama that followed each speech she gave. She is every day on social media campaigning for the release of the fictitious girls. The matter climaxed in the week to the presidential election when Madam Due process’ voice was loudest. In a typical and predictable way, she suddenly became dumb after General Buhari of the APC was sworn in. No one has heard about Chibok Girls or the notorious group led by Madam ‘Due Process’ ever since, all thanks to Mr. Nobody!
At this point, let us look at some unusual coincidences. Just recently, President Buhari had a scheduled meeting with the notorious #BringBackOurGirls group. Should anyone be surprised it was just after that day that the Boko Haram became bolder. They demanded that the Buhari government negotiate with them. One of the conditions which the government appeared to have accepted now is the release of Boko Haram prisoners for the kidnapped girls. What was El-Rufai and Ezekwesili’s response to this?
Rather than focusing on his immediate task of governance, he has been more preoccupied witch-hunting a former minister under the Jonathan administration. Perhaps, someone should help us tell him to stop all this attention-seeking tactics and focus on the more serious business of governance. Is he so bent on outshining his bosses, President Buhari inclusive? Why trying to make the President look inadequate? That still reminds me, why is it every time El-Rufai does something no matter how negligible, he beckons to the press to show off? Are we as a people now celebrating mediocrity in the name of performance?
If truth must be told, it is imperative we probe deeply the true intentions of El-Rufai and his relationship with Ezekwesili and the #BringBackOurGirls group.
Mohammed Seidu writes from Abuja.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.