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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable Book!, March 9, 2013
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This review is from: The Accidental Public Servant (Paperback)
A brief housekeeping issues to frame my review. I read this book from front to back. I don't know the author, but have known of him for years as the head honcho of the Nigerian national privatization agency BPE and of the FCT - Nigeria's new Federal Capital City, Abuja, both critical agencies in the country. I have had some first-hand knowledge of and distant familiarity with some of the most important actors in Nigeria over the last several decades. I am not saying this to claim any special or privileged knowledge or insight, but to say, I have some pretty good understanding of Nigeria and many of its actors, so I am coming to this book as a fairly informed reader of the environment and of some of the actors, therefore in a position to parse what the author is saying, and he is right on the money in this book.

Even for me and I venture say for everyone, but a miniscule of Nigerians and others, this book contains several profound revelations and insights of the inner workings of the Nigerian state.

Want understand Nigeria? Well, then, simply put, this book is "the gold standard" blueprint available anywhere to understanding Nigeria, for both Nigerians and others. It is by far the most intimate, the most comprehensive, fair-minded, boot-on-the-ground book ever written on the psychology behind the Nigerian state, from the beginning to now and way into the future. This is first rate mosaic of information written by the most level-headed actor and observer of Nigeria I know.

The book covers politics, corruption, rule of law, leadership, incompetence, waste, tribal, regional and religious loyalties and examples of valiant efforts to rise above it all.

To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised to learn of the seriousness and earnestness with which the Obasanjo administration handled affairs of the Nigerian state. No question about it, there were gaping failures, as competently written about by El-Rufai. For those interested in informed understanding of Nigeria, this book requires several careful readings to fully digest, as it has troves of information and insight hard to capture in one reading. It is still a fascinating, hard-to-put-down book even with one read. The author has real chops, very rare to find honesty, integrity, clear-headedness and nerves of steel. The chances are very high, you will be amazed almost beyond belief, as I am, that there are people like him not just in Nigeria, but in any society. Of course, his boss, President Obasanjo deserves tremendous credit for enabling and unleashing El-Rufai on Nigeria, so he could show us there is a way forward and that the limitations are sometimes in us, not the country.

No question about it, this book is more than about the failures, the morass and other unsavory dark actors, but also about hope, about light at the end of the tunnel, by no means assured, but a distinct potential, Nigeria will overcome the forces of darkness and emerge as a resilient nation.

To me, the main take is that the book, more than anything else, provides a starting point blueprint to move the nation forward. All is not lost and if there's a will there's a way forward. For those that think they will be better off, if the nation breaks up, I would say, they should think a little more carefully, as the grass may not be greener on the other side, even if it looks that way, it may all be just a mirage. Breaking Nigeria up is a definite recipe for self-marginalization for all concerned. For no matter how materially well-off, small countries are defined by their smallness.

Sticking it together and forging and maintaining the sort of close and personal relationships so eminently displayed in this book, all Nigerians will be for the better. With people like El-Rufai and his fellow travelers, of which I know there are multitudes all across the country and elsewhere, I see a palpable potential for the country to emerge from the darkness of corruption and primordial loyalties such as religious, tribal and regional.

This book, its author and contributors are a gift to Nigeria, Africa, good governance and democracy indeed. I hope you acquire this book and delve in, for a truth is stranger than fiction thriller reading.

I doff my hat to the author for his remarkable substance.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheaper kindle version please, February 8, 2013
This review is from: The Accidental Public Servant (Paperback)
The sample is really exciting. The narration in the book has really exposed many Niger's dark secrets. Although many of these are not secret to those who follow the news. Please make the kindle version cheaper so many of us can buy right NOW.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A MUST read!!!, February 7, 2013
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....!!!!

I need the kindle edition to be on sale and I need it NOW!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all who desire a better Nigeria, March 15, 2013
By 
O. Popoola (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Finally i have finished reading the Accidental Public Servant. I have read countless commentaries on this fantastic book by El Rufai. Many have postulated reasons why he must have written this book, mostly linking this to his rumored presidential ambition. He certainly has a constitutional right, and in my opinion, eminently qualified to be the President (I am sure we will have better luck with him!!!). But as usual, here we go again chasing shadows instead of substance. Here we go falling for the age long tactics of the Nigerian elites, represented by all tribes and religion, causing divisions amongst us while they steal us blind. The plain truth is that "there are only two types of people in Nigeria....good people and bad people, period" (agreeing with and quoting El Rufai).

One striking truth in this book that I am sure most will agree with is that we have through our apathy left the political space predominantly to rogues, charlatans, opportunist, dishonorable men and women who don't posses the zeal, capability, and capacity to take advantage of the moment for the advancement of Nigeria. This we must change, and as El Rufai has demonstrated, this will take sacrifice stepping out of our present comfort, and the courage to stand, and stand straight and firm for that matter, against the barrage of distractions, both from detractors and praise singers, and the onslaught from the enemies of our progress.

What I have read is a honest, albeit bold, recollection of events in our polity from a man who came, saw, performed and now sharing valuable experiences to deepen our democracy. Anyone who has a contrary or opposing recollection of events should please take up the challenge and enlighten the public through their own publication, we definitely need more books like this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Explosive Expose, critically engaging its audience, March 12, 2013
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This review is from: The Accidental Public Servant (Paperback)
The Accidental Public Servant (TAPS) is the most refreshing and long overdue insight to the dynamics of power relations in Nigeria's political-economy. With El-Rufai's stint at the highest level of governance in Nigeria, he instilled a rigid ethical and professional conduct in his duties and obligation to the executive government and the nation. TAPS is a page turner which I've found difficult to put down. A highly recommended reading for every student of Nigerian and African political studies.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for followers of Nigerian Politics, July 6, 2013
By 
Femi Abitoye (Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Accidental Public Servant (Paperback)
Immediately I started reading this book I couldn't stop. I wanted to read one more page, one more chapter - Very interesting and captivating. el-Rufai has done a good job in cataloging what transpired during his time in Govt., the intricacies of governance in Nigeria and the attendant corruption. This book is also good for individuals that plan to go into politics or governance. There are lots of lessons and insights that can help in preparing for a position in government. I however found some imbalance in the book as it relates to the accounts involving Atiku Abubakar (the then VP of Nigeria). Atiku was strongly painted as a corrupt politician while the likes of Obasanjo received a rather soft treatment by the author. On the organization of the book, there were a lot of end notes at the back of the book which meant flipping back and forth between the main pages and the rear. It would have been an easier read if the end notes were printed as a footnote on the main page it appeared for easy reference. Overall, a good work product by Nasir worthy of emulation by other actors on the Nigerian political stage. Kudos.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good insight, June 14, 2013
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This review is from: The Accidental Public Servant (Paperback)
This book provided great insight into the secrets of Nigerian Government. Recommended for young Nigerians who need to be enlightened.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tha Accidental Public Servant, April 17, 2013
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This review is from: The Accidental Public Servant (Paperback)
Very glad I purchased the book. It not only arrived on time but also new. I must say that the contents far outweighed all expectations
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5.0 out of 5 stars REVEALING, March 27, 2013
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This book is a revelation of events that happen in government and public service in Nigeria. He has been a major player in government and is competent to discuss the inner workings of the government.It takes a bold and fearless personality to come out with this type of book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very informing, March 22, 2013
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This review is from: The Accidental Public Servant (Paperback)
Worth every cent, very revealing and informing, I hope more courageous and honest public servants will have the dignity and courage of Nasir El-rufai. May God continue to protect and guide you, amen
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The Accidental Public Servant
The Accidental Public Servant by Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai (Paperback - February 5, 2013)
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