Nuhu Ribadu’s Transmutation: A Legitimate Ambition Indeed?
By Ikechukwu Amaechi
There is no politically discerning Nigerian who has not heard the news. Nuhu Ribadu, former Chairman of anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the presidential candidate of the now defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2011, has defected to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the leading opposition, the All Progressives Congress (APC), because he wants to govern Adamawa, his home state.
A legitimate ambition no doubt! But to titivate same in the garls of public good is arrant nonsense. But that is quintessential Ribadu. He thinks Nigerians are ever gullible. The office became vacant after Governor Murtala Nyako was impeached on July 15 by the House of Assembly upon adoption of the report of the seven-member panel that investigated allegations of gross misconduct against him.
Ribadu has the inalienable right to belong to any political party and to pursue whatever political aspiration that appeals to his ego. But has no right to insult Nigerians in his pursuit. But that was exactly what he did when he claimed that his defection from the APC to the PDP was in pursuit of a good cause and not out of selfish interest.
“I know how difficult it may be for you to come to terms with my defection to another party, but I must assure you that it’s a carefully-considered decision for which I do not wish to hurt anyone’s feeling,” he wrote on his facebook page after he went back to his vomit.
“As for my next step in this political struggle, this would be made known in due time. For now, I wish to assure you that my defection is in pursuit of a good cause, and never out of any selfish interests as portrayed by a section. “Thanks for bearing with me on this decision, and for those who have been in solidarity with my struggles and still giving me the benefits of the doubt, I’m most grateful. I’ll never let you down on this new path.”
Ribadu thinks very highly of himself. But come to think of it, why not? Ours is a country where the only ladder to greatness is hypocrisy and inconsistency, and Ribadu is quintessentially an inconsistent hypocrite. Those who think that by joining the PDP he has betrayed his “principles” should first ask themselves what principles, if any, does Ribadu have. Put differently, in what way is Ribadu different from any other Nigerian politician, the same people he has made a career of vilifying, and on whose back he climbed the totem pole of prominence.
Simply put, Ribadu is an opportunistic turncoat, self-centred and sorely lacking in principles. For too long he hoodwinked Nigerians into believing that he is a different kind of person, someone to look up to when the time comes to sort out the country. But any hope in Ribadu as the messiah is misplaced.
What we are seeing is the unravelling of the man. This is, as the late Professor Chinua Achebe would put it, yet morning on creation day. Sooner than later Nigerians will know the real Nuhu Ribadu, who, as Olusegun Obasanjo’s minion, helped the former President to thoroughly mess up Nigeria. Many Nigerians blame the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Maurice Iwu, for the crisis in the 2007 elections. What many did not know was that whatever went wrong then, were mainly the evil machinations of three Nigerians – Obasanjo, Ribadu and former Federal Capital Territory Minister, Nasir el-Rufai. Obasanjo wanted to perpetuate himself in office and in doing that he used Ribadu, who was scheming to become the Inspector General of Police, to wreak havoc in the polity.
I laugh when I hear people hail Ribadu as an anti-corruption Czar, a dummy sold to the international community. Sooner than later, Nigerians will get to know who the man, Ribadu, really is. What he is doing is just the tip of the iceberg. Those who are disappointed that he joined the PDP are those who have all along been deceived into believing that he is a different kind of politician. Some even don’t believe that he is a politician. I am not disappointed. In fact, I would have been if he had done otherwise. My opinion about him is in the public domain. I am happy that till date, he has not proved wrong those who know who the real Ribadu is.
Is it not laughable that the man who wanted to save Nigeria now wants to be Adamawa State governor? But what does it matter as long as he remains in the political loop. That is what the move is all about. It is not about any public good. It is about the good of Ribadu Plc. When did Ribadu realise that President Goodluck Jonathan’s government is decent after all? When did it stop being the most corrupt government in Nigeria? When did the PDP stop being the worst thing that happened to Nigeria since independence in 1960? Can Ribadu deny that his volte-face was a consequence of the assurances that he got from the Presidency and the PDP national leadership that the party’s governorship ticket would be handed over to him? Would he have joined the race if he was not so assured?
The problem we have in Nigeria is that those who make the most noise and get all the attention are the worst. That is the reason the country is not making any progress. When pretenders are in the saddle, a country will continue heading south. And that is what is happening to Nigeria. But sooner than later, Ribadu will get his comeuppance. It is a natural law of retribution that those who sow the wind cannot but reap the whirlwind.
I couldn’t help but laugh when the tetchy Ijaw leader, Edwin Clark, labelled Ribadu, untrustworthy on Thursday, August 28. Clark said in an open letter to PDP National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, that the party would be making a big mistake if it granted a waiver to Ribadu to contest the Adamawa governorship primaries this week. He said bringing Ribadu into the PDP would dent the party’s image and affect its fortune in Adamawa, where, he rightly observed, Ribadu has no political value.
“In the 2011 election, Ribadu ran for President on the platform of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, lost at his family home polling booth, and also his ward, scored a mere 32 votes in Yola, and 32,786 total in Adamawa, against Muhammadu Buhari’s 344,526 and President Goodluck Jonathan’s 508,314,” Clark recalled.
I will be surprised if Jonathan does not know all these.
*Ikechukwu Amaechi is the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of ‘TheNiche,’ a Sunday newspaper published in Lagos, Nigeria (firstname.lastname@example.org )