An end is not yet in sight on the altercation between supporters of former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and those of Kaduna State Governor Nadir el-Rufai, as a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna State, Alhaji Yusuf Ali Rabagardama has thrown his weight behind El-Rufai.
Rabagardama, in a statement made available to The Guardian, frowned at those who speak ill of Governor El-Rufai over his recent altercations with Atiku. According to him: “I chose to stand with El-Rufai because he is a better politician than Atiku. El-Rufai has shown what leadership and service mean but from Atiku, we could only hear of greed, backstabbing and disloyalty. “Knowing El-Rufai very well, he cannot stand aloof when his boss compromises his office. He will definitely blow the whistle against malfeasance in office and that was not disloyalty or betrayal but patriotism and nationalism,” he said.
Calling on Nigerians to disregard the recent comments by Atiku against El-Rufai, Rabagardama maintained that Atiku is the architect of his own political misfortune in recent years. He claimed that it was trite knowledge that Atiku betrayed his benefactors like Senator Jibril Aminu and former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Said he: “It’s a pity that Atiku thinks every politician is like him. He thought the way he betrayed Senator Aminu and clinched the vice-presidency or how he almost pulled the rug from under the feet of Obasanjo in his insatiable desire to become Nigeria’s president was politicking.
On the contrary, Atiku’s politics is built in deceit and betrayal. Whenever he is entrusted with responsibility, he betrays his benefactor and that has been his political philosophy,” he stated. Rabagardama further claimed that Atiku’s politics is characterised by amassing public wealth for self-aggrandisement hence he cannot be trusted with power, adding he cannot stand any chance in his quest to become Nigeria’s President. “How much was Atiku worth before he became VP and what is his worth after office.
The difference is clear. He is a politician who came to serve himself and not to serve the people. “Jibril Aminu entrusted him to mobilise support for the professor in his campaign to become vice-president to Obasanjo but what happened? Atiku ended up campaigning for himself to become VP and the rest is history. “Power belongs to God but I know God in His benevolence and mercy cannot make Atiku President of Nigeria. For bringing Buhari to power, God is being merciful to Nigerians by entrusting a man with credibility to clear the mess of people like Atiku Abubakar.”
However, Atiku’s media aide, Mr. Paul Ibe, in an interactive session with reporters said that he would not want to join issues with any person or interest group keen on undermining his boss. Making reference to the non-existence of any charges of wrong doings levelled against Atiku within and outside the country, he said his boss, like any progressive minded person in the polity reserves the right to aspire for any position of responsibility in the polity.
Ibe who reechoed Atiku’s philosophy of tolerance and accommodation of opposing views noted: “ The man is very tolerant. I think more than anybody, he is a promoter of the politics of tolerance and accommodation. For some of us on the front line, we know that such posture has to do with his large heart, it is not about politics, and it is about his ability to embrace people even if they are on the opposing side. This is Atiku’s staying power.”