Bonaventure Melah

A prominent Nigerian Human rights activist Aisha Yesufu has described Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai as someone with zero emotional intelligence, saying the governor behaves extremely badly, yet wants to be seen as a good person.

She wondered why the Department of State Security and other relevant agencies have not launched investigations on El- Rifai’s claim of knowing those organising killings in Kaduna, adding that his immunity as a governor only covers prosecution and not investigations.

In an exclusive interview she granted ALSC newspaper today, Wednesday, August 19, 2020, the vibrant activist and social crusader said she was happy the way Nigerian lawyers rose to up to demand that the name of El-Rufai be removed from the list of key speakers expected at the 60th Annual General Conference (AGC) of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA slated for August 26-29.

It would be recalled that El-Rufai’s name was listed among key speakers in the forthcoming virtual conference of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA). However, many lawyers protested the inclusion of his name and threatened to boycott the event. The governor’s name was later removed from the list.

In reaction to El-Rufai’s removal from the list of key speakers, we saw Aisha Yesufu in a viral video dancing happily over the development which prompted our curiosity to ask her why the excitement.

See details of what she told us today:

“For me basically, my excitement is not about mocking Nasir El-Rufai because Nasir El-Rufai has mocked himself enough. My excitement is that Nigerians are now taking action. Last year, I called for ‘9ja Call of Shame’ where I said we need to begin to shame these public servants who are not governing well; who think they are lords over citizens they govern; who think they are above the law; who can be disdainful and disrespectful to the citizens and who are irresponsible in their leadership roles.

“So, for me, that excitement comes from the fact that citizens are saying ‘enough is enough.’ This is a 9ja call of action, where, whenever we see public servants who are not doing well, we must let them know by our words and our actions.

“For me, it is amazing that people rose up to say that El- Rufai’s name from the list of those to speak at an NBA event. It is amazing and that’s what we need to start doing. We must begin to let these rulers who are failing to know how we feel and think about them. It does not make sense that when we are home, we complain about them, express anger about the bad leadership they are giving us; and then when we see them, we are taking selfies; we are smiling with them; we are giving them standing ovation; we stand up for them when they come to events. It is not right that when they are talking nonsense at events, people are not walking out on them.

“This is part of the action we need to take. To say if they will be there, we will not be there. We will not be there with them. I have had several events am supposed to attend. But as long as some officials will be there I will not attend, even though I do not make it public. I just stay away. I boycott the event. And I am so glad that Nigerians are now doing that and that we will begin to do that on a more massive scale to every of these leaders who are failing woefully, who are not doing their jobs, who have made failure in governance a norm. we must definitely begin to stop that.

“El-Rufai is somebody who behaves extremely badly but he wants to be seen as someone who is good. And I am very glad that people are calling out his reckless statements, his very non statesmanship kind of statements. Imagine a leader with absolute zero emotional intelligence. That’s who El-Rufai is. Imagine your people are being killed, instead of you to sympathise with your people, instead of you to empathise with your people, instead of you to protect your people, you are busy accusing them of being the ones killing themselves because they want to get grants. Who does that?

“And like I said in a tweet that I made, I asked El-Rufai, is he in the business of organizing killings that he knows people who are organizing killings? He needs to let us know. And if he says there are people organizing killings, why is that as the Chief Security officer in the state, he hasn’t done anything about it?

“And finally, I am still waiting to see why the DSS (Department of State Security) has not invited him to clarify the statement. His immunity doesn’t cover investigation, his immunity only covers prosecution.

“So for me, the excitement is that Nigerians are saying ‘enough is enough’ to these rulers that we have who are behaving badly, who are leading badly, who at every point in time seem to give people failure.”


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