It is hard to bet against El-Rufai’s political future but one can easily predict that the only pathway for him in future is to court controversy and try to position himself again as a champion of the North.

In 2003, he accused two Senators of demanding bribes from him in exchange for confirmation as Minister – controversy is entirely consistent with his political trajectory.

His swing from moderate in PDP to fundamentalist in CPC and then APC, confirms also the easy prediction that he will court more controversy in future and double down on his fundamentalist appeal. Other than these two tactics which the populace may fall for, El-Rufai is finished politically.

With Kaduna delivering the highest votes for Atiku (even by INEC’s manipulated presidential election result for APC) and PDP very likely to win the Governorship of the state back at the Tribunal through Isa Ashiru, Nasir El-Rufai cannot claim to have anywhere on lockdown. 

Reinventing himself in an opposition alliance will be a hard play as he was the first prominent Northerner to hold his nose and stick out his head for Tinubu, denigrating elders from the zone in the process.

He may also attempt Peter Obi’s Pied Piper tactics and tantalise the younger generation with insider tales and stories of exploits in governance or while abroad, may claim that the rigged-in Tinubu admin and NSA political, Nuhu Ribadu, are both after his life. The success of any tactic he deploys will depend on 

i) if the media is willing to platform him once again, ii) if the younger generation are willing to spend more years chasing hard political fantasies, and iii) if another northerner does not emerge as a stronger voice over the planned ECOWAS invasion of Niger.

Whereas Baltasar Gracian said that your greatest cunning must lie in covering-up anything that looks like cunning, El-Rufai reveled in it and his serial betrayal of those above him became his hallmark. 

Tinubu clipping his wings early enough and humiliating him so publicly will be a tough pill for him to swallow. The size of his ego is directly opposite his physical stature and El-Rufai will want his pound of flesh. 

Ours is to fan the flames of the ACN vs CPC implosion to come, for the good of Nigeria and I conclude by saying that what was done to him was surely unfair, but definitely, no more than El-Rufai deserves – as a nunc dimitis to the final chapter of his political career.

Demola Olarewaju

SA Digital Media Strategy to Atiku


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