Friday, July 30, 2021

El-Rufai evicts civil servants from prime assets, gives wives, children, Kadaria Ahmed, other cronies

Labour unions condemned Mr El-Rufai’s action at the time and warned of serious consequences should it be allowed to stand, but the governor called their bluff.

• May 24, 2021

Governor Nasir El-Rufai has allocated prime assets belonging to Kaduna State to his wives, children, friends, business and political associates, according to officials and a list of beneficiaries seen by Peoples Gazette. 

Sources in Kaduna told The Gazette the assets were seized from senior civil servants and their families between 2015 and 2016, barely months after Mr-Rufai assumed office. The governor promised to publish a list of individuals and corporate entities that will benefit from the residential assets, but had so far failed to do so.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai and his son Bashir

Those who benefited from the questionable allotments in Kaduna’s elegant GRA include Mr El-Rufai’s first wife Hadiza Isma El-Rufai, second wife Asia Ahmad El-Rufai and third wife Aisha Garba El-Rufai. His son Bashir El-Rufai also benefited, according to the list, as well as Abubakar Sadiq, presumably the governor’s eight-year-old son.

Kadaria Ahmed, a pro-government public relations consultant and Asia Ahmad El-Rufai’s sister, was also allotted a prime spot in the neighbourhood, the document said.

Other beneficiaries include aviation minister Hadi Sirika, water resources minister Suleiman Adamu, Senator Danjuma Goje and former PDP chairman Adamu Mu’azu. 

Minister of aviation Hadi Sirika

Private companies run by Mr El-Rufai’s aides Peter Akagu-Jones and Altine Jibrin, including Broad Brooks Limited and Hajibal Ventures, respectively, were also allocated assets inside the GRA. 

“He brazenly allocated the houses and lands at GRA to his family members and friends,” an official said while confirming the genuineness of a list of beneficiaries sent to The Gazette by email. “El-Rufai has established himself as unprincipled and evil but the eviction of poor civil servants in favour of the elite stands out amongst his despicable acts.”

Minister of water resources
Minister of water resources, Suleiman Adamu

The Gazette allowed the official anonymity because the confirmation and background information they provided about the distribution of state assets could earn them harsh consequences from Mr El-Rufai and other administration officials.

Kadaria Ahmed did not answer a request seeking comments about the controversial asset she secured from Kaduna. Messrs Goje, Adamu and Mu’Azu did not answer calls and messages seeking comments. A spokesman for Mr El-Rufai did not return a request for comments.

While seizing the residences, Mr El-Rufai argued that certain assets can not be occupied by civil servants below level 16, defying a civil service regulation that said civil servants from level eight and above are entitled to such accommodations.

List of El-rufai family members and cronies reallocated plots 2
List of El-rufai family members and cronies reallocated plots

Labour unions condemned Mr El-Rufai’s action at the time and warned of serious consequences should it be allowed to stand, but the governor called their bluff.

It was not immediately clear whether or not the beneficiaries paid to obtain the assets, or how much each person paid to state coffers in charges and taxes, but the action evoked the widespread controversies he courted during his days as Abuja minister in the 2000s. 

When Mr El-Rufai served as Abuja minister between 2003 and 2007, he faced relentless allegations of seizing lands and structures from everyday Nigerians and reallocating them to his family members, political allies and cronies. In 2012, he admitted allocating public lands to his family members, but downplayed its intensity.

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