Nuhu Ribadu, police commissioner and lawyer, needs no introduction in Nigeria and much of the world. He is the intrepid executive chairman of the dreaded anti-corruption agency called the EFCC.
But for Ribadu, this country’s corruption rating would have been worse. He is one of Nigeria ’s most outstanding persons and, outside Nigeria, he is one of the few whose word is taken seriously. He remains a pride to his generation and one of the very few who could be a contender for the presidency of this nation in a few years.
On a personal level, he is a friend to be proud of. We disagree quite often as is to be expected but only on the modus and not substance of his thoughts. His passion for Nigeria and desperation to get things right remains exceptional.
But these days, our Nuhu Ribadu appears to have been afflicted with Acquired Immuno-Obasanjo Syndrome (AIOS), which like AIDS is terminal, and curable only with prayers.
Many of us who know the EFCC chairman have always believed that he is making the best of a very bad situation. His job would have fared much better under a better boss. The EFCC chairman serves at the pleasure of the president, so any occupant of that office will only be of the greatest service to the country if his boss is not dishonest himself.
Unfortunately, the current EFCC chairman is not that lucky. He has an Obasanjo for a boss. He serves under a president who turns institutions of government to personal use. Imagine what has become of INEC, the police, etc.
But Ribadu himself does not think so. He has consistently declared that his boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo, is not corrupt. He says this so many times these days that he is beginning to lose many of his ardent admirers.
Worse still, he is losing influence among very critical segments of the society. It is even surprising that the EFCC chairman has not noticed that he is the only one who holds that view and is ready to damage his good name by going public with it. It’s like a politician declaring publicly in the United States today that Osama bin Laden – who is still held responsible for the 9/11 disaster in the country – is not a terrorist.
But does Ribadu really know the meaning of the word “corruption”? I should ordinarily think so because he is not only a top cop but also a successful lawyer. Before he became the EFCC chairman, he was the brains behind many of the successes the police achieved in the courts.
So what has gone wrong? Is it possible that the EFCC chairman does not know that whenever he pays his NITEL bills he is indirectly enriching the Nigerian president who only recently sold the public utility company to an organisation in which he (the president) holds substantial interest?
And it has also probably escaped him that whenever the EFCC lodges any of its numerous important guests at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, it is also enriching the Nigerian president.
President Obasanjo himself recently confessed under pressure from a section of the Nigerian media that he has shares in a “blind trust” in Transcorp. But that is the blind trust that we know and if Ribadu’s boys are working half as hard on the president as they are on the vice president and several state governors, they might even have stumbled upon more presidential “blind trusts” in many of Nigeria ’s “privatised” companies and oil block ownerships.
But let’s leave that to the incoming government, even if that government is going to be headed by Umaru Yar’Adua or, better still, Gbenga Obasanjo.
Nuhu Ribadu must also be the only one in the world who didn’t notice the huge bribes that were shared among senators and reps to effect the passage of the third term bill. He told Nigerians after the sudden death of the third term project that he was not aware that bribes were shared.
Nigerians were both amazed and amused to hear that. What is even more worrisome these days is that there is hardly any difference between statements that proceed from the offices of the PDP and the EFCC chairman as far as the president is concerned.
On the pronouncement of the Senate committee on the PTDF, the PDP rejected the guilty verdict on the president, as if it has any power or even right to do so; and Ribadu on his part insinuated that the Senate was confused. Why should he then be surprised that some of his enemies call him Obasanjo’s rottweiller?
Last week, in spite of the overwhelming evidence of corruption against the president by no less a person than Otunba Johnson Fasawe, who has confessed to being a front for both President Obasanjo and Vice President Atiku, Nuhu Ribadu chose to continue on the same self-destructive path.
It is hard to think of a single plausible reason why he should be doing that to himself and to his admirers. And when he was asked to publish the accounts of MOFAS, Otunba Fasawe’s company that would have confirmed everything, he hedged. Where did the EFCC chairman think Obasanjo got the N700 million that he paid into Fasawe’s MOFAS account? From Obasanjo Farms Ltd?
The EFCC boss has even forgotten that it is the Senate and the House of Reps that have the constitutional responsibility and authority to probe and declare the president guilty of corruption and recommend appropriate sanctions, not the EFCC; and no one expects the EFCC, which already has its hands full, to go beyond its brief.
There are many Nigerians who think that Obasanjo is the most corrupt president ever to rule over Nigeria. General T.Y. Danjuma recently declared, to the cheer of Nigerians from all over the country, that in a democracy the greatest form of corruption is electoral fraud.
He was making an oblique reference to the Nigerian president who, by common consent, is regarded as the most gifted election rigger Nigeria has ever had. Obasanjo remains the first and only leader in the nation’s history ever to create a Senate president out of someone who was not a senator. It takes exceptional skill and genius to achieve this.
Ribadu’s argument is that Obasanjo does not have a foreign account and does not have property overseas and therefore must be squeaky clean. I know of a South-South governor who doesn’t have a single foreign account, at least in his name, and doesn’t have landed property overseas and yet he is one of the most corrupt men in the world today.
And this governor has been one of the greatest benefactors of the president. Or does Ribadu also not know that receiving stolen goods is an act of corruption? Is Ribadu not aware that many state governors have courted the president’s friendship and continuing immunity (or is it amnesty?) by enriching Obasanjo Farms Ltd?
What is the networth of the president’s farms located in several states today? What was it when he declared his assets in 1999?
Nobody expects the EFCC chairman to probe the president or even be able to do so. We are satisfied with the very good job he is doing on the other thieves that are not in the good books of the president. Some other person will probe the president and his co-travellers one day.
After all, didn’t Obasanjo himself probe past leaders like Generals Babangida, Abacha and Abdulsalami? Didn’t he probe Buhari’s PTF? So let’s leave Obasanjo for the future. But, for God’s sake, let Ribadu stop vouching for the president, especially because it is even so unnecessary and, in any case, nobody believes that he believes that Obasanjo is not corrupt.
It looks like prayers alone will not be enough to save the EFCC chairman from himself. Those of us who wish him well must add fasting to the prayers. For me, I am even contemplating dry fasting. Obasanjo is going down and, in 63 days, he will be down and out. Only a stubborn fly, as the Ibo man would say, gets buried with the corpse!
Obasanjo’s NEPA has become a scandal and a byword for corruption. Nothing that anyone would ever say can appropriately convey the anger people feel. And this anger is almost at the boiling point. It will be unwise to push Nigerians any further.
Where is the more than N1 trillion that has been spent on electric power supply since May 29, 1999?
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sadiq minna, nigeria June 11, 2007
we dont want corroption
Skinner. Greater Manchester., United Kingdom. April 02, 2007
ummmmh,my fellow country men, me i no blame the guy boo, abi una no know sey na the tone wey dem blow inside trumpet na im trumpet go blow comot.....so Ribadu gaat to be an obedient servarnt to Baba Iyabo after all ....He who pay the pipper they say dictates the tone to be played.
But sometime, someday Ribadu will answer for his excesses and the whole country will be surprised just as my good friend....Saliu said in his little heart touching comment.
For goodness sake, is it not crazy and annoying for Malam Ribadu to come out and be telling the entire Nigerians that the president is not corrupt?
Anyway,my sound believe is that nemesis will surely catch up with you guys one day and by the special grace of ALMIGHTY GOD you all will never live to enjoy all your ill gotten wealth because this is nothing but insult upon injury.
Like i always say, Naija go survive ,we are waiting on God.
yemi sunday munich,, germany April 02, 2007
mallam ribadu,dont u think this is the right time 4 u be quiet....just because 9jas r not stupid enough 2 go 2 war just like other africans countries dosent mean they r stupid....soon,very soon,nemesis will catch up wit u and ur ugliest president....not even all his stolen money can make him look handsome...one day GOD will stop being a 9ja and yawa go happen.....i pray it dont get 2 that level........
Frank Philadelphia, USA April 02, 2007
Skinner, if you could remember i have vowed not to paticipate in this forum anymore, but my brother if you're a lover of nigeria, its damn hard for you to see things going the other waay round and you will keep calm. Can you believe Ribadu, what a shame. God is about to distroy these people, watch and see what God will do to them. Let them all declare their assets, starting from obj, and rebadu, nigeria has not spoil to the point where solution can not be provided, we can still fix our beloved country, after God have finish punishing obj, Ribadu, Akiku, Burhari, Yaraduwa, and everyone in the senate, inec, and everyone that supports these group of people.
Saliu Babajide London, United Kingdom April 01, 2007
Well said ! But let us not dismiss Ribadu as a deluded zealot. The yorubas have a saying that when the young man is dancing out of rythm then it is possible that he is hearing a different music.
The question therefore is : what is Ribadu's motive?
This man has consistently turned truth on its head, gone beyond his brief, hugged the limelight and defended the indefensible and in the process, like Fani-kayode, insulted elected legislators. What is he after?
I bet when Obasanjo is out of office, this miscreant will come out to say his life was in danger and he had to say all this nonsense.
He is the prototypical Nigerian politician, who beyond his wildest expectations finds himself in position of power and true to type will stop at nothing to lord it over those whom he feels are better than him.
Power is transient and people have long memories. Nigeria of the 80's is not Nigeria of the noughties! Ribadu will have his day in the courts too and he will also answer for some of his excesses.
He has shown his uncanny ability for duplicity by insinuating that his hands are tied in the aftermath of the infamous EFCC list of shame and creating the impression that the presidency " doctored" his list.
So be it. If you must dine with the devil , then you should come with a long spoon.
I personally believe that Ribadu was specifically chosen for the job to achieve Obasanjo's machiavellian objectives.
He doesnt come across as an intelligent person with enough gravitas for the sensitive position he is occupying at present.
Where anonymity is called for he exhibits wanton visibilty that you begin to wonder if we are not witnessing the " russian doll" phenomen, circles within circles. Time will tell and the truth shall prevail.
Fear not, Ribadu will answer for his excesses and Nigerians will be surprised!!
It is not unheard of that the chief fighter of corruption is himself corrupt. It has been known to happen all over the world and indeed in ....Nigeria.
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