Nuhu Ribadu, Please Don’t Do It, By Timawus Mathias
A fortnight ago, a kite was flown via a speculative newspaper publication that a group in the Adamawa Peoples Democratic Party had approached and were proposing economic and financial crimes buster Nuhu Ribadu, to convert from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party as the Party’s flag bearer for Adamawa Governor in 2015 or even earlier. In deed this triggered a flurry of anxious activity within the Party in the State, which had just smarting from the contentious impeachment of Governor Murtala Nyako and the equally contentious resignation of Deputy Governor Bala James Ngilari.
It was grapes turned sour too soon for the State stake holders of the party who had foolishly imagined that all they needed to deal with was the succession of Murtala Nyako as would be steamrolled by Acting Governor Umar Fintiri. Burying their multi-dimensional acrimonies, they had managed to band together to successfully oust Nyako. Only to now come face to face with the prospect of the importation of a flag bearer from the same APC that had yoked them through Nyako’s carpet crossing was too much a slap to bear.
Nuhu Ribadu though young, has carved a niche for himself, not by any means as an accidental public servant like Nasiru el Rufa’i, but a dedicated and passionate professional law officer, catapulted by President Olusegun Obasanjo to direct the inception of then newly founded Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Nuhu Ribadu left an admirable template for accomplishing his task but for criticisms that he carried out the bidding of his master Obasanjo over perceived dissidents and over ambitious contemporaries. It is no thanks to him that Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s rolling wheels to succeed Obasanjo were jammed, irreparably damaging an otherwise brilliant political career. Both Atiku Abubakar and Nuhu Ribadu later found themselves at the APC, and together with Murtala Nyako. Nuhu is by no means a small fry in the Nigerian political scene, indeed so much clout did he command that in 2011, Action Congress of Nigeria fielded him as its Presidential candidate, and preferred to lose at the stakes than drop Nuhu and merge with Buhari’s CPC which could have won, were the merger consummated.
Adamawa PDP is heading again towards a split into factions. There is a home front group battling an Abuja group that is bandying the name of President Goodluck Jonathan as having mandated them to annoint a PDP flag bearer for the party, and it seem the Acting Governor Umar Fintiri is at gunpoint to do the bidding of the Abuja power block. According to a newspaper report, the “planned movement to PDP is said to enjoy the support of the Presidency which struck an agreement with him (Nuhu) to hand him the ticket and support him to emerge the next governor”.
Naturally,Adamawa gubernatorial front runners that have remained faithful to the Party and doing the bidding of the President, are up in arms, and include incumbent Acting Governor, Alhaji Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, Chairman of National Mathematical Centre, Senator Abubakar Girei, former military administrator of Lagos State, Brig-Gen. Buba Marwa (retd), former Minister of State for Health, former Minister Idi Hong, former Executive Secretary Universal Basic Education Ahmed Mohammed Modibbo, former Federal Legislator Awwal Bahanga Tukur, Chief Whip of the House of Assembly, Hon Jerry Kumdisi, erstwhile Presidential Adviser Ahmed Ali Gulak.
They had all gathered in Yola when the news broke of the Nuhu Ribadu gambit, and more than protested the arm twisting from Abuja. Their grouse is with the attempt to hand an automatic ticket as a gift to anyone and they see this as a continuation of the family feuds that saw Nyako foisted, and ousted, leaving Adamawa State victimized and battered like a battlefield. They have no worries about other that had decamped earlier than Nyako’s impeachment, and indeed it is understood that a waiver is automatic. Ribadu did not consider decamping, but is being brought according to them, on condition of an automatic ticket, and in spite of promises made by the Presidency that there would be no meddling in the domestic affairs of the party.
My worry is for Nuhu Ribadu who has held promise to succeed Muhammadu Buhari as a principled patriot, building for himself a clean and unblemished record of never compromising with fraud. It disturbs, to imagine a betrayed Muhammadu Buhari whose name alone guaranteed some Governors in office today, the seats that they occupy, and Nuhu certainly, equally stands to benefit from the name. To carpet cross from APC to PDP on the promise of an automatic ticket is fraudulent and quite unlike Nuhu Ribadu, and the repercussion will be a lost character and bearing for such a brilliant promise. It would have served better if he had pocketed the dollars in the Ibori case. It also assumes that PDP is the winning party by hook or by crook and watching what happened in Osun gives me hope that you do not have to be in PDP in order to win.
I also wish for a clean break for Adamawa State, possible only with a clean starter which PDP needs to offer in one of their non controversial hopefuls, and also likewise, APC in Ribadu, only if his promoters dare to test his popularity devoid of the nudging of the Aso Rock Villa cabal. But of course Nuhu Ribadu as an individual has every right to associate with any individual or any organization. That much also, the people of Adamawa do have a right to make their choices and express the choice they make with their vote. One right superseding another’s right is definitely unbearable and certain to undermine an already fragile stability. My tweet to Nuhu Ribadu – please don’t do it.
— Timawus Mathias can be reached on:
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