Nasir El-Rufai makes many Nigerians' blood boil by uploading a photo of young Nigerian siblings and commending them for successfully graduating from one of the United Kingdom's oldest and most prestigious universities.
"Another son graduates with Upper Second Class degree from King's College, London....congratulations to Mouftahul-Khair Kolawole Lawal.....in the picture is his elder sister the brilliant Maryam Lawal. Alhamdulillah for wonderful children" [sic], the caption reads under the photo on El-Rufai's Facebook account.
The majority of commentators felt offended by the post, expressing their general distrust of Nigerian politicians. Some also said it was not too patriotic or encouraging for a politician to "promote" educating their children abroad:
Bello Abdulrasheed Afolabi: After being a former minister stealing Nigerian money? We no be fool oooo! Here's another animal congratulating his children who he schools with Nigeria stolen money.
Dozzy Adams Obi: Why didn't you train them at Ahmadu Bello, UniLag, UniSokoto, UniMaiduguri, etc.? Why London? You and all the Nigeria ruling elite are bloody hypocrites! So sad that the Nigeria youths are blind and stupid.
Hillary Ogar: Are you taunting the poor Nigerians who cannot send their children to government universities, more or less private universities not to talk about foreign. We have first class materials everywhere in the country. But your greed, evil, corruption never gave them the opportunity.
John A Odoh: You want to fix Nigeria but your children are studying abroad. Why don't you take them to one of those state universities in any of the APC states.
Bashir Mazadu: Ahh! El Rufa'i, you have never made a post which irritated me more than this one! You people have deliberately destroyed our local universities so that you can ve a chance to travel your pickins go abroad to study?
Burba Ismaila Mazadu: Why not FUTY, ATBU, UNN, UI, or UNILAG? London university is a made-easy type. You decide when to write exams at your wish. But you can't try that in any of d federal universities in Naija. The wickedness of some lecturers and some deriving pleasure in failing students.
Buhari A: Eligible Mallam. You schooled in Nigeria and you are an acclaimed intelligent/brilliant fellow, why then do you take solace in sending your sons/daughters abroad to study instead of sober reflection? Should we really believe you for what you advocate?
Daniel Aernan: Congrats! I dearly look forward to the day when Nigerian children irrespective of class will have the opportunity to attend schools comparable to those attended by Elrufai's children. The dad should not give up until such is possible even in Nigeria.
Edward Nwadike Uchenna: Privileged kids. Their parents no doubt had a headstart because my parents trusted them and gave them the mandate to represent and run the institutions in Nigerian states. Mouftahul-Khair Kolawole Lawal, congratulations on your achievement but please note that somehow, your parents or their 'friends' (in the person of the guy who posted this article) have succeeded in ruining our education system and that might be the real reason they sent you abroad to study.
Some commentators have gathered the fact that the duo in the picture was not actually El-Rufai’s children:
Muhammad Oga: We get so blinded by sentiments that we deliberately refuse to let our minds into objective reasoning. Mallam el-rufai's children should answer to his names, I'm sure, not a Kolawole! They are probably his Yoruba friends' kids, and, by extension, his children, too. What I think is that Mallam is only appreciating his friends' children for their success!
A couple of readers wondered what reaction was El-Rufai hoping for by publicly sharing such photographs and making comments about foreign education:
Joy Okororie Ohia: When you post this sort of pictures, is it to get applause or curses from Nigerians?
Some pointed out that, if given a similar chance, even the critics would not hesitate and choose foreign teaching facilities for their children to enroll in.
Ben Igiebor: If tour child got a scholarship tomorrow to go to the same school [London], VERY HONESTLY, would you prevent him or her? Please I need an answer ooh!
It was rather curious to trace other reactions of respondents, as some openly mocked and denounced the disunity and "hypocricy" of their fellow compatriots:
Najiullah Al-pharouque: All these bloody hypocrites! All of you should swear that if you hear of El-Rufai giving a scholarship, you wouldn’t jostle to apply. All we hear is bickering and nagging. I swear, the colonial masters did their work perfectly. They've succeded in divinding us. We the Southerners now see nothing good in the North and vice versa... Keep hating each other, keep fighting, keep insulting…
Lichance Oviebor: Many Nigerian youths are hopeless. Why the insults? The Mallam is one of the few that engages with the youth through the social media. Does that mean he is worse than past and present leaders? To abuse people is cheap. Why don't we learn to engage in more civil ways than resorting to abuses? For example, I can boast that no matter where or how his son was educated, there are students in Nigeria who would give him a run for his money. We need to be courageous to match. United, we will reclaim our contry from every thief disguising himself as a leader.
Lubem Dante Ugbor: Nigeria's problems did not start with el rufai u clowns! Nigeria was founded on greed n corruption from the start. Anyone who wants the best for his children will try to give them the best. Don't hate.
Abdulkadir Yunusa Adoke: I know Nigerians can be mad, but to think that their madness has reached a point where they are equal to animals is unwarranted, yet that is what we see here, on Facebook. And to think that Nigeria would depend on this pool of imbeciles for its future is same as to assume no future for the country. His child or not, they deserve to be celebrated. And if you think yourself not happy, look elsewhere. We would celebrate them even if they are not ours. Haters should go and jump into the lagoon; or better still, grab a life transformer and romance it with your body and soul; and when you get there, you can explain to God why he created you a dumbo, like your father and all your lineage.
Rasheed Laniyilaaro Lansongreen: I love Nasir El-Rufai. His mission is far beyond the sound and murmuring of insults. Neither talkative nor analytical, he just keeps us update all round the clock.
Some users were sincerely happy for their young fellow Nigerians’ high level of achievements:
Justice Ujomoh: Hearty congratulations to you, my friend. You went to study and came out in flying colours. Many who had same opportunities misused them and joined bad gangs. They are rotting away in jails abroad. Kudos to my guy!
Rasheed Laniyilaaro Lansongreen: Your life will soon change for better if you follow this man [El-Rufai] with your mind open. He's a man of numerous achievements.
Kesiena Okorho: Congratulations to all these young chaps doing us proud overseas.
Oshoma Vincent: Congrats sir and to your son. May your investment in his education bring good returns to your family and our great nation. God bless Nigeria.
Sadiq Moh'd Wanka: Most of these comments make me ashamed to be a Nigerian. First of all, I think it is crystal clear that they are not his biological kids. In any case, can't we just be happy for the graduate? Secondly, why all the self-righteousness? As long as your own wife and daughter dress to your liking, let others be. Congrats jare!
Some have assumed that, should President Goodluck Jonathan made a similar declaration about his children, the APC (to which El-Rufai now belongs) would have condemned him for "sabotaging" Nigerian education:
Hon Charles Eyimofe Pemu: Congrats. But if it were to be Jonathan's child, the APC would have made a following headline: "The President Sabotaging Education – APC," signed by El-Rufai.
Mitchell Ugochukwu Ukachukwu: If it were President Jonathan's son; I wonder what you [El-Rufai] would have said. We know the real enemies of Nigeria. We are not blind.
Christian Eze: Imagine if it were GEJ who wrote this. All the folks commending this would have probably turn around to condemn it.
What are your emotions after seeing El-Rufai's post? Do you feel proud of young Nigerians succeeding abroad, or rather bitter because our universities cannot offer the same level of education?