Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, is unapologetic about the memo he wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari, recommending that some reforms be made.
In the 30-page document, which Sahara Reporters published last week, el-Rufai told Buhari that some of the people around him are not only selfish, but inexperienced.
El-Rufai made reference to Abba Kyari, the chief of staff to the president, and Babachir Lawal, secretary to the government of the federation.
“The secretary to the government of the federation and the chief of staff do not have experience in public service, lack humility in addition to being insensitive and rude to virtually most of the party leaders, ministers and governors,” he wrote.
“In summary, neither of them has the personality, experience, and the reach to manage your politics nationally or even regionally.”
The governor said by failing to be proactive in taking key decisions in a timely manner, the All Progressives Congress (APC) had made the situation in Nigeria worse than it met it.
The letter generated an uproar, with Shehu Sani, a senator and fierce critic of el-Rufai, calling on the ruling party to punish the governor.
But in an interview with Daily Trust, el-Rufai defended his decision to write the memo, saying he knew it would be misinterpreted in some quarters.
He denied leaking it to the press, revealing that he had written about 20 of such letters in the past.
The governor said he has played his own role and it was left for Buhari to act. He added that he observed that the current administration had started implementing some of his recommendations.
Asked if the letter had not caused a strain in his relationship with some of the people he mentioned in the memo, he said: “I know Abba Kyari well, he will not disagree with what I wrote there. He knows it to be true and he is not hearing for the first time.”
“Many people have complained about this, so I don’t think it will cause a strain in my relationship with the chief of staff because we have been friends for so many years. But anyone who feels he is upset because of what I have written, so be it.”
He denied leaking the memo to the press, revealing that he had written more than 20 of such letters in the past.
“First of all, let me say that this is not the first memo that I have written to the president. From the time I began to interact politically with him since 2010, anytime I saw a situation requiring advice or change in direction, I usually went to discuss with him,” he said.
“I always said, ‘I will go and reduce it to writing so you can have a document to reflect upon and decide and guide your action.’
“This is not even the tenth memo I have written to the president. I have probably written more than 20 memos. I did this at various stages – from our days in the Congress for progressive Change (CPC), before the 2011 elections, after the 2011 elections, and during the merger process.
“I have always felt that my duty to him as my political leader is to pick up what he doesn’t hear, because as a lower level person, I get to hear more about what is going on. And if I see things going wrong, I have a duty to go to him and say, ‘This is what I’ve heard, the facts I have established and my advice on the way forward.’
“They are all problem-solving memos, they identify the problems, analyse them and propose solutions. So this is the spirit of all my memoranda to the president from 2010 till date.”