Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State has revealed that as a former minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), he met with stiff opposition from corrupt influences against his attempt to the change of status quo and modus operandi of public service institutions in Abuja.
el-Rufai stated this on Saturday at the book launch of his late foster father, Malam Yahaya Hamza’s biography held in Kaduna.
The governor, in his speech entitled ‘Tribute to a father, protector and teacher’ said that with a sound education and the good moral upbringing he got from his extended family: “I was able to cross any obstacle thrown at me.”
According to him: “From Baba, we learnt to work hard and serve with integrity and purpose. He taught us the true meaning of love. Till this day, I consider all of his biological children my own dear siblings.
“With these virtues instilled in me during my childhood, I grew up to become a focused young man. I carried on what I had learnt, to my years of serving the nation as the Minister of the FCT.
“When I became the minister, I was determined to change the status quo and modus operandi of our public service institutions. Of course, my vision for revolutionising the way public service was run was met with stiff opposition from corrupt influences”
el-Rufai said: “I was eight years old when I lost my biological father. Losing my father at such a tender age could have steered the course of my life in the wrong direction, but this was not so in my case. I come from a close-knit extended family so, I wasn’t allowed to feel the void of losing a protector and provider as I was immediately placed in the loving home of my uncle Alhaji Hamza Gidado; Mallam Yahaya Hamza’s own father.
After living with Mallam Yahaya’s father for a few years, I eventually moved in with Mallam Yahaya as I developed a strong bond with his son.
“According to biology, we are cousins because our fathers were brothers. However, those of you that witnessed the close relationship between me and the late Yahaya Hamza will testify that it was more of a father and son relationship,” he said.
The governor noted: “As a young boy trying to find my way in a complexvsociety, Mallam Yahaya Hamza with love and discipline was able to guide me on the right path. He took what I consider one of the best decisions in my life; sending my young head strong self to Barewa College.I say to you today, that I will not be who I am without the solid foundation I received at Barewa College.
Till this very hour, I remain eternally grateful to my father Mallam Yahaya Hamza. Baba made sure we lacked nothing and at the same time reminded us to be thankful of how blessed we were. He was my protector, friend, counselor and most importantly my teacher,” he said.