Accidental Public Servant By Nasir El-Rufai (Paperback)

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This is a story of Nigeria, told from the inside. After a successful career in the private sector, Nasir El-Rufai rose to the top ranks of Nigeria's political hierarchy, serving first as the privatization czar at the Bureau for Public Enterprises and then as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja under former President Olusegun Obasanjo. In this tell-all memoir, El-Rufai reflects on a life in public service to Nigeria, the enormous challenges faced by the country, and what can be done while calling on a new generation of leaders to take the country back from the brink of destruction. The shocking revelations disclosed by El-Rufai about the formation of the current leadership and the actions of prominent statesmen make this memoir required reading for anyone seeking to understand the dynamics of power politics in Nigeria. For many Nigerians, the Accidental Public Servant (APS) will be a gripping story about politics, power, friendship, ambition, greed, fear, betrayal, leadership and love, all set within running the affairs of government. It will provide insight for many with little knowledge of the pretences that passes for governance and for others, it will be an affirmation of legends told and heard– made personal by knowing the characters as intimately as citizens can know their leaders from afar.
For a long time to come, it may be impossible to discuss the book and its contents without discussing the author. Perhaps there is no removing the man from the book and the book from the man but after the emotions ebb and the shock of oxygen igniting exposed secrets abates, the book will still hold value and lessons for historians, political scientists, policy wonks and people who want to understand Nigeria once upon a time, the better to appreciate where Nigeria is. Books are hard to review because every story is personal in its telling and in its interpretation. There is no topic today more delicate, complicated, emotional, scary, polarizing and energizing as the 2015 general elections and the book is a gift for all Nigerians who wonder why progress is slow and dream of doing things differently. By sharing his story in order to ‘make the case for public service’ there are clear lessons for anyone thinking of public service and how to navigate the problems and opportunities with governance and politics in Nigeria.
Despite the 489 pages, there are still topics and issues which could have benefitted with more analysis, more insight from an insider who co-held the reigns of power and lots of questions have been and will continue to be raised by the book. And this is precisely why this book will endure and hopefully encourage more honest discussions about public office. As the gloves come off and attacks on the book and the author commence, a common complaint will be that those who come to equity must come with clean hands. But if that were the only way to look at books that document a personal narration of history, then none would be eligible to write. The balance between sharing for posterity and upholding codes of silence is a delicate one which few have to straddle and decide for what purpose they want to keep silent. If we do not have the opportunity for honest discussions about what takes place in government, Nigeria and Nigerians will be worse off. If there are three sides to every story: my side, your side and the truth, then between the telling of ALL, the truth will emerge.  
Excerpts from the Book:
“President Obasanjo chose Umaru Yar’Adua whose ill-health, among other challenges, was known already constituted a serious impediment to the possibility of any inspired and energetic leadership. The view of many well-informed Nigerians is that Yar’Adua and his deputy, Goodluck Jonathan, emerged for no other discernible reasons than being ‘weak’ governors sympathetic to the ‘Third Term’ project and therefore handpicked as payback.
“The subsequent electoral imposition of Goodluck Jonathan as president in 2011 via military occupation and rigging has been unhelpful in raising leadership quality. Jonathan went into a presidential contest without a campaign manifesto, boasting of no experience, merit and any track record of previous performance other than wearing no shoes to school and his ‘good luck’".
“The political brinkmanship got so bad that Obasanjo had to visit Atiku’s residence unannounced to plead for Atiku’s support. Upon arriving at his deputy’s residence, he reportedly knelt before Atiku and begged the Vice-President to remain onside, thus guaranteeing the support of the 17 PDP governors. In return, Obasanjo had to agree to retain Atiku as his running mate (he was rumoured at the time to be considering an alternative)”
What are People saying about the Book?
"Just the first few pages of the book and I can't stop. The book starts hard....tough! The story of the Nigerian government from a perspective inside of government is sure to be hot; well, I think this one is explosive! I am reading and relating with what is going on now in the Nigerian government and whoa....!!!!"
"The sample is really exciting. The narration in the book has really exposed many Nigeria's dark secrets.”
“If there are three sides to every story: my side, your side and the truth, then between the telling of ALL, the truth will emerge.”
About the Author:
Nasir El-Rufai is a prominent Nigerian leader who in the past served as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja as well as Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises. As a prolific opinion columnist and public policy advocate, El-Rufai has become well known as one of the country's most outspoken voices on issues of governance, leadership, transparency, and social justice. El-Rufai studied at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, University of London, Harvard Business School, Arthur D. Little School of Management in Massachusetts, Georgetown University School of Foreign Services in Washington, D.C. and the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He holds a first class honours degree in Quantity Surveying (1980), a Masters Degree in Business Administration (1984), a Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science (1985), a Bachelor of Laws (2008), Master of Public Administration (2009), and has attended several programs on Privatization and Leadership. In 2005, he was conferred D.Sc (honoris causa) by the University of Abuja, Nigeria. Before entering the public service, El-Rufai ran a successful consulting practice, El-Rufai & Partners, between 1982 and 1998. He also held management positions with two international telecommunications companies, AT&T Network Systems International BV and Motorola, Inc. In October 2001, he was conferred a national honour, OFR (Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) by the Federal Government of Nigeria. El-Rufai lives in Abuja, Nigeria, and is happily married with children.
This is a book to present as a gift to your Boss, Friends, Colleagues, Business Partners and Family, to always be in their good book.

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