Ribadu, Enter Action with Boldness By Raymond Inkabi
Adamawa state is one state that has undergone stark economic backwardness and political misorientation for a very long time due to misinformed decisions taken and persons who have been at the fore of affairs in the state. But after members of her state assembly in an extraordinary move of necessity unanimously and famously impeached Nigeria’s worst performing governor, Admiral Murtala Nyako, July 14th, 2014 then marked the end of tyranny and ineptitude, misappropriation and janjaweed policies which has come to be accepted as fate by her young and old alike. Thus, Nyako’s ouster signalled the birthing of a new era, a breath of fresh air, the waking up from slumber and the compulsory retirement of doddering old men in politics. The northeastern state was bankrupt, disjointed, and devoid of experience in governance. The state could have broken apart because of its financial problems, or rather embezzlement. But not surprisingly, history repeated herself again.
Now the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has released time-table for the well-awaited bye-election in the state as requisite of the constitution after an impeachment process. Many gladiators – some a bit known – some very obscure – some totally new entrants, in their numbers now flock the battle weary arena. Some in a bid to gain patronage from the masses, others, in a well-known bid to invoke Pandora to open her box (chaos) in the bout about to begin – the race for the vacancy in Dougirei – the race for the rescue of a drowning state. The race for its people. INEC however, as the umpire in any case holds the scepter. And has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring all candidates have a fair fight come October 14, 2014.
53 year old, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu is no saint. But he is one man that has defied the arena, soaked in it’s sands, dared the gods, lost good fights and won good fights. He is one to be feared. Nuhu, is one to be courted and patronised if the soul of the ludus is anything to go by and to keep. His fight against corruption made him a national icon throughout the empire, and also resonating in distant lands. A disciplined police officer and lawyer, He was appointed as pioneer chairman of the Economic and financial crimes commission (EFCC) in 2003 by former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, where he spear-headed astute reforms and sanitized a once globally acclaimed corrupt system. He prosecuted some of Nigeria’s prominent politicians, civil servants and businessmen. Ribadu graduated from the Nigerian Law School and was called to bar in 1984 before joining the Nigerian Police Force, where he rose to become head of the legal and Prosecution department at the Police headquarters in Abuja. He then led the EFCC during his four years at its helm to an unprecedented 200 criminal convictions. Ribadu has been a recipient of numerous awards as a police officer, prosecutor and EFCC Chairman, including the Inspector General of Police awards in 1997, 1998 and 2000 and a presidential special commendation in 2005. In 1999, he was commended by the Accountant General of the Federation for succesfully prosecuting corrupt public servants. More than once, prominent newspapers in Nigeria have voted Ribadu “Man of the Year” in recognition of his achievements as a committed crusader against corruption. It is worthy of note, that Mal. vied for the office of the President in 2011, under the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), coming a close third after PDP’s current President Goodluck Jonathan and General Muhammadu Buhari of the CPC. He is also currently the chairman of the Petroleum Revenue Task Force, He is a TED Fellow and a Senior Fellow in St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford , UK and also a vistor at the Center for Global Development, a think tank based in Washington, D.C, United States. Ribadu echoes all through, world over.
But what I am happy with is, Mal. Nuhu Ribadu’s bold step unto which party to belong to. And unto wanting to contest the bye-election in his home state of Adamawa. This is no time for delay. Action must be entered with boldness and will to give the desired blow to a charging opponent, with an ‘s’ in this case. Now currently a member of the Peoples Democratic Party Mallam has every wherewithal to decide if to run now or wait till next year’s gubernatorial elections. This decision is a sole prerogative of him and him alone. Recently, it has been widely known the courting of him by the PDP to run the guber bye-election under their party. My critique is, such is a good thing, given Nuhu’s antecedents in and out of public service. And such patronage should be taken in the highest consideration.
The PDP courted Ribadu, not as being the only one who can salvage the state. But as the only card left to deal by their sworn opposition, the APC in Adamawa. But like in all cases, there are PDP front runners that have “long” remained faithful to the Party and they 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 (rtd), former Minister of State for Health, Alhaji Idi Hong, Dr. Umar Ardo, 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. In the light of all these perceived opponents, all Mr. Ribadu need do is declare.
Previously, Nuhu Ribadu is the most formidable member the APC can present in the forthcoming governorship election in Adamawa, but that’s become history now. Mallan is now a PDP person. The tides just changed. The All Progressives Congress is dealt a death blow. APC is dead. What influenced this informed decision to heed the PDP’s call is the way the APC is run by its current breed of leaders. You will agree with me that the party’s lack of ability to resolve conflicts within its fold and it’s lack of internal democracy in the left many individuals and heavyweights dissatisfied and disappointed. The EFCC chairman is also said to be bitter that some leading chieftains of the party are increasingly being sidelined in the race for the 2015 presidential ticket of the party. Ribadu would have preferred an opportunity to contest the presidential ticket in a free and fair primary. But as it is now, the leadership of the APC has made its next year’s presidential direction clear to potential candidates, with Nuhu standing no chance just as was betrayed in the 2011 Presidential polls by then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) now merged into the APC. It’s no wonder he ditched them. Same party, same leadership. And when people talk about integrity as the reason why the former EFCC boss should not join the PDP, I smirk in dismay and bewilderment. What has that earned him in the APC? Despite his popular appeal, the leaders have not given him his deserved place. Its an open secret that Nuhu has gained nothing for his loyalty. All I wish him is good luck in his new found love, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The writer, Raymond Inkabi holds a B.Tech (Hons) in Geography, from the Federal University of Technology, Yola. He tweets via @alykka.
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