I place Nigeria’s peace above politics, says Ribadu
Former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, has said his foray into partisan politics is less important than achieving a lasting peace in Nigeria.
He said he was ready to put politics aside and work for the restoration of peace in the country.
Ribadu spoke at an inter-communal dialogue for peace in Jos on Monday.
The summit was coordinated by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and sponsored by the Canadian High Commission in Nigeria.
The former EFCC boss, who was the chairman on the occasion, said his stand was borne out of the fact that there could be no space for politics without peace.
He said the reality of the worsening political situation dawned on him when he joined politics, adding that he had decided to put aside the toga of a politician and work for the restoration of peace in the country.
Ribadu said, “Personally, I want to see politics out of this. I want to see to it that statesmen, leaders, responsible people understand first that the people matter; the community, the ordinary people matter and these are the people who are bearing the brunt of all these problems.
“There is no way we can play politics unless you have peace and security and I want to enjoin everybody to put politics aside and work for an enduring peace and then politics will come after.”
He said he did not get involved in the peace process until he joined politics and discovered that he could not play politics under the prevailing environment.
Ribadu said, “I cannot sitdown and watch people being killed, communities and the fabrics of our society being destroyed. For me, peace is more important than the politics I am playing. I remove this dress of politics and decided to reach out and I believe its not only I, but many others.
“There is no way we can achieve stability unless we achieve peace among ourselves. Plateau is very important because it has come to symbolise all the challenges and difficulties we have had to contend in Nigeria.”
The Anglican Bishop of Jos, Dr. Benjamin Kwashi, in a lecture, said peace could only be restored when people respect one another’s religious differences.
He said the search for peace in the country must not only be continued but be made a reality and that every Nigerian, irrespective of tribe, creed or religion, must be made to key into it.
Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang, who was represented by the Commissioner for Local Government, Dr. Paul Wai, said the state had established a peace-building office, saddled with the responsibility of promoting dialogue and non-violent alternative to resolving conflicts and differences.