El-ru­fai’s cab­i­net a mini Nige­ria, says Obasanjo

The Punch - - NEWS - God­win Isenyo, Kaduna

FOR­MER Pres­i­dent Oluse­gun Obasanjo said on Wed­nes­day that Kaduna re­mained a melt­ing pot of all the eth­nic groups in Nige­ria.

Obasanjo, who was in the state on a pri­vate visit to Gov­er­nor Nasir el-ru­fai, also hailed the pan-nige­rian char­ac­ter of the gov­er­nor’s cab­i­net.

The for­mer Pres­i­dent de­scribed him­self as a son-ofthe-soil hav­ing lived in Kaduna from 1959 to 1967 and built his first house at the Mak­era area of the town.

Obasanjo was quoted by Ibrahim Musa, the Spe­cial As­sis­tant, Me­dia and Pub­lic­ity to el-ru­fai, to have said that he was at the Mo­gadishu Bat­tal­ion in Kaduna be­tween 1959 and 1967, adding that his visit to Kaduna was like a home-com­ing.

The for­mer Pres­i­dent said that the bat­tal­ion was “the first to be Nige­ri­anised” and it had sol­diers from all over the coun­try.

He ex­pressed de­light that El­r­u­fai had recre­ated the Kaduna of old be­cause his state ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil re­flected a mini Nige­ria.

He said hav­ing worked with el-ru­fai as FCT Min­is­ter, the gov­er­nor re­mained one of the best per­sons to work with, de­scrib­ing him as a “near ge­nius.”

The for­mer Pres­i­dent went down mem­ory lane by re­call­ing El-ru­fai’s spat with the Se­nate, main­tain­ing that the for­mer FCT min­is­ter was asked to apol­o­gise but “he re­fused to write a let­ter of apol­ogy to the Se­nate.”

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 to mat­ter in my gov­ern­ment. He has done the same in Kaduna. He is a very good learner.”

The gov­er­nor said Obasanjo re­mained a men­tor, not­ing that he learnt many pub­lic ser­vice skills from the for­mer Pres­i­dent when he served in his gov­ern­ment as min­is­ter.

El-ru­fai then thanked the for­mer Pres­i­dent for find­ing time to come to Kaduna to see things for him­self.

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