Nollywood Media | 2 May 2010 07:18 CET

I’m back to clear my name – El-Rufai

By Olusola Fabiyi
El Rufai

El Rufai

The former Federal Capital Territory Minister, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, on Saturday, made a surprise return to the country after almost two years in exile, declaring that he was ready to clear his name of all allegations preferred against him.

He stated this just as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said it would soon arrest the former minister to answer criminal charges levelled against him.

In a statement obtained by our correspondent on Saturday, el-Rufai said he was happy to return to Nigeria and that his immediate concern was to clear his name of all allegations.

He also lauded the Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, for the way he has so far piloted the affairs of the country.

Jonathan, he said, had set a new direction for good governance, especially with the planned restructuring of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Parts of the statement read, ”My dear Nigerians, it feels good to be back. I am delighted to return home after almost two years of absence. It is a period within which I enhanced my education and endured much villification and persecution.

”Through it all, I have retained my faith in Nigeria, its people and its possibilities; and I have been encouraged by the appreciation my compatriots continue to show for my contributions in public service. It is also fitting that I thank all those groups and persons that have supported me in very trying moments.

”I salute Nigerians for their growing insistence that this country can and should be better run. This is further cause for hope because it shows that there is an abiding faith that this can yet become a great country in fact, and not just by aspiration.

”It is my hope that Nigerians in the Diaspora, spread across the world; Nigerians who love their country; who understand its vast potential, feel compelled to return to Nigeria.

”There is a small window of opportunity to build a new Nigeria – where the government is accountable to its people; where civil society becomes the guardian of its democracy.

”There is an opportunity to have Nigeria open for business, but not business as usual. There is an opportunity to take the reins of control from a small corrupt elite and return it to its rightful owners – the 150 million Nigerians. There is an opportunity for the ”agents of change” to take the arch of history and bend and shape it to their will.”

Meanwhile, the EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Femi Babafemi, has asked the former minister to be prepared to answer to the corruption charges levelled against him.

He told our correspondent in a telephone interview that the commission would ensure that the warrant of arrest issued against el-Rufai was executed.

He said, ”It is good that he is back. But there is a warrant of arrest on him before which we would make use.”

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