Nuhu Ribadu: Between ideology and adventurism

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By Zebulon Agomuo

Whatapp NewsTelegram News

It has since been established that politicians, all over the world, behave like prostitutes. They dance and sleep with anybody that meets the demand of the hour. They may not even recognise a bed mate minutes later. They sell their wares to the highest bidder and bait no eyelids about that! However, nowadays, some people argue that the degree of political harlotry varies from one country to another.

In his presentation at a public forum in Lagos, Jonah Isawa Elaigwu, a professor emeritus of Political Science, University of Jos, had categorised Nigerian politicians into three. In his words: “Our politicians see democracy in instrumental terms. They are more concerned with the perquisites of political positions than the delivery of service. This is why we have three groups of politicians- politicians, political contractors and political touts- in the political terrain.”

According to him, “The politician is one who is dedicated to politics and seeks to acquire and use power in the interest of his electorate- for the maintenance of law and order, provision of welfare, and the pursuit of the interest of the state in relation to other state in the international system. There are very few of these available in Nigeria today; even these have become an endangered species.

“The political contractor is a businessman in the political terrain. For him, democracy is tolerable nuisance, which provides greater access to resources. The end of democracy and values are important even though he may be shouting them at public fora. For him, democracy provides opportunity for an investment which must be recouped.”

Nuhu Ribadu, a dedicated and passionate professional law officer, who was catapulted by former president Olusegun Obasanjo to chair the then newly created Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has continued to enjoy elevations in politics.

However, his actions and inactions have continued to be a subject of controversy as admirers and critics are on equal measures cheering and jeering at what was described as his successes while at the EFCC.

His exploits at the EFCC must have encouraged the then leadership of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to draft him as the party’s flag-bearer in the 2011 presidential election.

Explaining the choice for Ribadu, Bisi Akande, who was the national chairman of the party, said: “We in the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) decided to migrate from the recycled elders to the club of the youth and we expected that only youths would pick our form. We signaled this sufficiently enough. We wanted the youth of this country that had been denied the forefront in the political life of the country to be pushed forward. It was the military intervention in our life that destroyed the opportunity of the youth across Nigeria. As a result of that and as a political party, we said we were going to insist on the recreation of opportunities for the youths of this country. We made it an ideological position of the party; that is, the promotion of youths and women. Nuhu Ribadu falls within that bracket.”

Attahiru Bafarawa, a two-term governor of Sokoto State and a presidential candidate of the defunct Democratic People’s Party (DPP), who was nursing an ambition to contest the presidential slot again on ACN platform, was not happy that the party leadership favoured Ribadu instead. Although the Adamawa-born former EFCC Czar contested the election, he was roundly trounced by the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Goodluck Jonathan.

After that misadventure, Ribadu fraternised with a merger party that succeeded ACN, until recently when, according to reports, he decided to dump the party back to PDP.

Ribadu is said to be pressured by the powers that be in Abuja to fly PDP flag in a gubernatorial election slated for 0ctober 11, 2014, to fill the vacant space made possible by the recent impeachment of Murtala Nyako. It was gathered that the PDP at the national level may have concluded plans to grant him automatic waiver which would be extended to the state, local and ward levels. Recall that Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president, had also enjoyed such treatment when he rejoined the umbrella party from ACN which paved the way for him to take part in the party’s presidential convention/primary won by Goodluck Jonathan. [eap_ad_1] However, one of the leaders of the party in Adamawa, has said Ribadu’s comeback was inconsequential as he had since lost his charm on the people in the state.

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