One of the things I have noticed and admire about Bello is his inclination towards living a private life so I was surprised that he was just as willing as I was to have him share this much. With his father being one of the favourites for Governor of Kaduna State in 2015, Bello has a significant role in the campaign and he shares, in his own written words, how that campaign began and where they are now. After the piece was written, we agreed to a video interview that was a lot more personal than the article. He wanted to choose the location and so he did. It took place in his father’s study. I had the pleasure of meeting his step mother who gave me a very warm welcome.. I thank her for the hospitality and that delicious cake I was too shy to properly chow down. You can read the article he wrote and then watch the video that’s at the very end of this post, he tells about himself, family, friends and the love of his life..
as written by BELLO EL-RUFAI
Many Nigerians are somewhat interested about politics. The political situation in the country is usually a popular topic, along with money, music, fashion, weddings juju and pointless gossip. Therefore, there is nothing unique about people like us that are tagged as political. Perhaps, the only difference is that we are vocal and expressive about the political situation in the country. As an avid reader of the works of Aristotle, I wholeheartedly believe a statement attributed to him that man is by nature a political animal. Furthermore, it is natural for a political scientist such as myself to encourage all Nigerians, especially my peers to become active, or at the very least informed about the political situation of the country. With the increasing insecurity in the country and rising economic inequality, only a naïve person will continue to ignore politics.
By virtue of my last name and my field of study, I knew it was inevitable for me to get involved in politics once I was done with school. In my final semester in college, a close friend of mine for over 15 years, Hafiz Bayero, insisted that we take our criticism from our laptops to the field. I will forever remain thankful to him and a few other friends for opening my eyes and introducing me to grassroot politics. He and a few of my other friends such Ahmed Nahuche, Hayatu Makarfi and Mustapha Abubakar were involved in the 2011 elections and witnessed the challenges of our party, the defunct CPC. Their first-hand experience has been very helpful to me. But unlike some of the others, Hafiz never gave up despite the frustrating aftermath of the election. He insisted that we maintain the cause of working for credible candidates such as General Muhammadu Buhari and my father, Nasir El-Rufai, Kayode Fayemi and Babatunde Fashola.
As unapologetic Buharists, we believed that the General, as the most popular candidate was our best chance to defeat the ruling party and its expertise in electoral malpractice. At this point, we simply viewed Mallam Nasir El-Rufai as a competent confidant of General Buhari, and one of the few that could assist the General in his bid to save this country. Therefore, we continued to monitor, learn and assist in our little way during the APC merger talks. We assisted Nasir El-Rufai with research and consultations to Mallam, when he was the then Interim Deputy National Secretary of the APC. But as time went on, the rumors about him contesting for Governor of Kaduna continued to persist. After I completed my Masters program in Georgetown University, I approached him and told him that our group believed that he should run for Governor. He confirmed to me that he was considering it due increased pressure but told me that his focus was on building the APC and changing General Buhari’s mind to run for President once again.
Some months later and after wide consultation with family members, friends and respected leaders, he finally made up his mind to run for the Governor of Kaduna. We immediately decided to focus our resources and minds towards assisting him in salvaging Kaduna from its current static state. We knew that with Mallam as our candidate, there would be a huge role of young people to participate and contribute to not only his campaign but also in his administration if God grants us the victory we seek in the 2015 elections. However, we also knew that in the field of politics, young people must be professional and hardworking in order to prove their worth. The failure to be anything but disciplined and creative amounted to being sidelined by people from the same team. Consequently, we decided to setup a political pressure group that will function as a merit-based institution with the goal of promoting El-Rufai’s candidature.
For anyone that lives or regularly visits Kaduna, there is little reason to explain why Kaduna needs to be rescued. The former capital of the Northern region and home of the illustrious Ahmadu Bello University is the state of residence to some of the most influential leaders and great minds of the country. Yet, it has clearly lagged behind. While states like Kano and Katsina continue to progress, Kaduna continue to regress. Our group is fully supportive of El-Rufai’s candidacy for the sole reason that he is the most capable aspirant to rescue Kaduna and make it great once again. In order to achieve this, we are going around the state to promote the ideals of his manifesto and his plans to make Kaduna State great again. We have sat and engaged state and national legislatures, youth organizations, elders, as well as delegates at the ward, local government and state level to engage and mobilize them on his behalf.
The Rescue Kaduna Group continues liaise with the campaign organization. And despite a few challenges, they have been very supportive. El-Rufai, as an advocate of youth participation in politics has been our biggest supporter. Additionally, his aide and one of the conveyors of the persistent, commendable and courageous Bring Back Our Girls movement, Hadiza Bala Usman has also been very supportive. She is the patron of our group and a steady guide due to her wealth of political and administrative experience. We have a schedule of programs we hope to implement on a pre-primaries and post-primaries basis. Unfortunately, the reality of Nigerian politics is that the complete execution of such projects can only be done with sustainable funding.
Nonetheless, with the aid of a few progressive minded donors that believe in the quality of an El-Rufai administration, we have managed to implement a few programs. Additionally, the campaign team has contributed to our works as well. Some of our upcoming events include a sponsored media campaign that will de-mystify the candidate on both key digital and traditional media platforms. We will also complete our ward tour to specifically engage the youth delegates in the 255 wards and 23 LG of the state.
I have already stated the main challenge we have so far. The other challenges also revolve around finance, as most of us have for the first time witnessed the worst side of our political system. Over 75% of the registered APC voters in Kaduna are in support of El-Rufai getting the ticket. However, there is a need to incentivize them in other ways in order to be sure of their support, despite their claim to support El-Rufai.
Watch the interview…
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