Ribadu: Finally we are Back at Yesterday By Jonah Ayodele Obajeun
During a self-instructed work out session and having been dazed by the lushly early morning natural greenery of the hub of fertility where the votary maid is currently being fortified in orinrin leaves voodoo in preparation for Osun-Osogbo Festival, yours sincerely battled the imposing billboard of Omisore around Abeere junction in a game of interrogation. A constant reminder of the role Abeere junction played as the epicenter of retreat during the glorious Great Ife movements against military regimes and sundry lent credence to my monologue of engagement. As I beamed a weird smile at the faded impostor whose DNA still haunts him, I jerked suddenly. It was an SMS from an old time friend.
Fiercely groomed to hit me deep, the ballad of the thought process deployed to capture her life-long desire to reduce my intelligentsia political arithmetic and logic to rubbles fully manifested in her hash-tagged SMS to be. “#TeamRibadu.” I knew it has finally happened. Fine, but as a Nigerian, I must move on. Obajeun veered off his sight from his phone and saw the billboard image beaming jubilatory smile in reprisal. So my feet got the message.
While we are still basking in the pains of losing one of our lovingly stubborn administrators to the confines of the palace, where the overriding vocations are dispute resolution and storytelling, we are now drowned in the realization of the ephemerality of human excitement at the slightest attraction. The proponents of Electronic Chemistry should cover their faces in shame; there is a new theory in town – humans are electrons, they excite from one orbital travel to another – outward, until they thin out. In a philosophical logic; the discourse on whether ‘humans’ in this theory can pass for politicians would flow seamlessly over some bottles of concentrated palm-wine.
In the apocalyptic melodrama that preceded the windfall of 2011 general elections, I wrote in my very precise appraisals of the contending forces, about Ribadu and the perennial denial of Nigerians at the juncture of confusion. Ribadu mesmerized us with his sing-song of belonging to the age group of world leaders, albeit I commend his wit, candour and uprightness in his anti-corruption crusade. To me, age has never and can never be an instrument to show leadership capability. More importantly to be noted as part of Ribadu’s strength of character in office was the singular fact that public officers soft-pedaled on their corruption shenanigans. Unfortunately, he was removed from office unceremoniously, just like the garrulous arch-rigger for the PDP, Maurice Iwu, who hitherto seemed to have remained immovable on the seat he no longer deserves. While the Federal Government coerced Ribadu out as against general feelers and the international community, Nigerians sacked PDP rigging machine, Iwu!
In my 2011 treatise on the competing powers, I wrote the following about Ribadu:
“However, Ribadu represents the yearnings of Nigerians. He portrays a brand new posture that Nigeria needs and his acceptance among the young population of Nigeria shows that if votes count, he can get the spread among the different age groups that make up our 140million number. He has unparalleled precision with his evocative message, even with his sullied eloquence, which is peculiar to the Fulanis. By training, by disposition, and by his interactions, Ribadu is cosmopolitan and seems to be more passionate with comprehensive grasp of the root causes of Nigeria’s injuries. With progressive friends ranging from the bohemian to the lengthily liberal, and from the largely divided North to the ecstatic secular Niger Delta, Ribadu will be more given to consensus construction. To me, Ribadu is more exposed, both locally and internationally, well refined, mild and energetic. Notwithstanding his relative inexperience at the highest levels of government, his policies are more likely to benefit from broader consultations, rigorous debates and intellectual, even academic, inputs. We would certainly be treated with daily interesting stories in the papers because to me, his government would be more engaging!”
Do these things still hold for Ribadu after his excitement from an orbital? We have had humans metamorphosed from having to talk straight to having to talk from the two sides of their mouths. Set against our own record, our sanctimonious preachments about patriotism and integrity ring hollow and utterly hypocritical. This is peculiar to human nature; everyone is born with flaws inherently fused with our genetic make-up. This is not a time to debate made character, this is a time to reflect on those things that make up our character as a people.
The ongoing debate on whether the APC has the wherewithal to attract and retain the best minds that are ready to give up themselves for human service, requires a look back at history and the appreciation of our pitfalls, bearing in mind the morass of the moment. By refusing to allow general delegation voting for all aspiring Tom, Dick and Harry, where hungry delegates are made vulnerable to kick-backs, the APC holds forth the possibility of democracy redefinition, perhaps, within the purview of the African continent.
To some, this refusal is often given out as a rejection of the incorporation of the masses into the mainstream of Nigerian politics. This is both a logical scandal and an act of semantic vandalism, for their so called mainstream is not the mainstream of the Nigerian people, but the narrow mainstream of a corrupt and dissolute political class, a pan-Nigerian bazaar of buccaneers, a human bestiary where political hyenas call out to each other to come and chop. In their warped vision of politics, the mainstream is synonymous with giving choice appointments to cronies and scions of political and economic notables while the rest wallow in penury and biblical starvation.
This is both classical and alien to us. For someone like Ribadu who needs a safe net when an ant swallows a snake, such political setup could be the best option. It looks however, that Nigerians are not portraying the behavioural drive towards an alternative in the immediate future, noting that the immediate future will be the defining moment for Ribadu’s life thereafter, and this doesn’t belong to the APC. If this is the case, one may not want to totally castigate Ribadu for his prophetic choice of using the PDP to manifest his hunger for change. Perhaps, a change from within the PDP is the new hypothesis whose verification has failed with Reuben Abati, but what sort of change can a mere media aid effect? Perchance also, Ribadu is the new hope in PDP; at least a Fashola in Adamawa is something to look up to. Who knows, some forces can throw him up at the central after some years as Adamawa Governor and for the first time, PDP will have a candidate whose campaigns will be based on issues and ready for debates.
Jonah Ayodele Obajeun is a professional. He firstname.lastname@example.org. Catch him on twitter via @Obajeun
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