When the news of Ribadu’s switch to the PDP hit the news stand, I was in utter disbelief. Not because switching is new but the individual involved; Nuhu.
This piece is not in the class of reactions from somewhat betrayed followers, it is a mere reflection of how we end up determining the judgement we get not as a result of our actions but as a result of what we have made the society make of us.
With his outstanding career as the head of the EFCC and his very unassuming carriage, Nuhu earned the respect of very many people in the crusade for a new Nigeria. This love and support was so much that he was quickly excused for joining the then ACN whose national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, he had at one time labelled a criminal of international dimension. The reasons given were simple; Ribadu had to contest on a platform and PDP wasn’t giving that chance; ACN, being the opposition party with the Change! slogan was the viable platform since CPC was also taken by Gen. Buhari.
Ribadu must have felt the first pinch when he lost of all states, Lagos State to President Goodluck. How on earth did Lagosians vote? How were they able to deliver the gubernatorial elections for ACN and not the presidential election? Even if no questions were asked at that time, I for one would not be surprised Ribadu had his concerns and doubts in the commitment of the leadership of the party. What are his chances for the coming election with the metamorphosis that has taken place? The party now boasts of so many former aspirants jostling for the ticket with possibilities of more coming in, Tambuwwal as a case study? I am not sure if there was a post mortem of the 2011 presidential elections but I am sure a Ribadu would always respect Ogbeni Rauf of the State of Osun for delivering his state at the same election almighty Lagos couldn’t do.
This short analysis is to set in motion another excuse for Ribadu why he left but it would not suffice an explanation for his eventual destination.
I deliberately took my time to react; waiting for the dramatis personae to justify the move, the intention and the need for it. He maintained in his response to the very many reactions that his reasons were not for personal interests and truly no one can tell except God. This response which is available all over the internet should you mind to check it out in my opinion has only answered questions raised in Ribadu’s self-imagination and not those of his teeming supporters and admirers.
The first question that comes to mind is that of our judgement as a people. It interests me how we arrive at some very incredible decisions and still find a way to defend it even in the midst of public condemnation. I do not expect Ribadu to seek the public approval as to the appropriate time to go to bed or take his breakfast but in a matter that has to do with peoples’ opinion and of course, votes, testing the mood isn’t too much of an exercise. This is where the nail is driven hard into the head; with all the noise, would people still not go out to vote him? Then what is the standard for determining what is right or wrong? The act or the actor? I have always asked what the reaction would be if a Pastor/Imam is caught smoking Indian hemp as against if a motor park tout is. What exactly are we interested in, the act of smoking, the smoker, or both?
We need to as a people begin to have these conversations; it may appear late but I think it’s never too late to set some basic standards as to how we arrive at the correctness of an action with or without recourse to the actor, or it always has to be the actor before the action. Whatever it is, there should be a way to deal with it.
Second, how did Ribadu suddenly scale down the scope of coverage of his political/power quest? I don’t understand how you, having run for the office of the president of a country would return to run for the office of the governor of a state not to talk of the platform; that in itself is another issue for discourse. The careless use of patriotic zeal puts to question the clarity of purpose for someone like Ribadu. Would he have left APC if Nyako was not impeached? Would he have thought of even running in the first place? Was this an afterthought or he had always wanted to rescue Adamawa State? Was he forced to run in 2011 for the office of the president? How does he intend to function as a governor under the same man he ran against and had always held isn’t capable of directing the affairs of this country properly? I need to think this through and would love if others can do same.
Third, I have always known that politician are bitches (pardon my American colloquial). To have a Ribadu fall under this definition is what pains me. The likes of Atiku Abubakar, Femi Fani Kayode, Segun Mimiko, Segun Oni, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the list goes on and on have at one time or the other travelled back and forth political landscapes but this one seem to have a different colouration. Where is the place of political ideology and how does it make switching back and forth very convenient? We need to begin to learn from advanced democracies and how they have been able to sustain their party systems with very little instances of crossovers unlike what obtains on this side of the globe. I have been privy to a discussion where a top APC chieftain was discussing why Ogbeni Rauf would never sit on the same table with Olagunsoye Oyinlola just a year ago. The story is far different today as these individuals would not only sit together, they most likely would eat from the same dish and even discuss political appointments and programmes. This development puts into perspective a new examination of how an opposition party is radically different from an alternative to the existing party in power.
It appears to me that all these parties are just one of a kind with each having her own style of carrying itself and shielding her faults from public glare. As long as we see democracy more as a game of numbers without consideration for core principles and programmes, without enlightening the people and delivering practical services, each political party will continue to embark of principles of necessity; opening her gates to every tom, dick and harry without paying the least attention to individuals’ antecedents.
The latest acquisitions of governors and senators by APC either has a result of the merger or crisis in the ruling party has further strengthened my argument that while APC remains the most vocal opposition, it may not necessarily be an alternative to the PDP cluelessness and executive recklessness. A Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State at some point was labelled a progressive by APC not for any other reason than his decision to join the party. With the facts available, it turns out the progressive is actually a callous thief.
This doesn’t in any way paint PDP in any credible light if we were to consider the state of insecurity in the country; unemployment, and abuse of office. It would also make PDP no different as long as the likes of Fayose would win the party’s ticket in Ekiti State and Omisore of Osun State. We probably haven’t seen the end of the art of recycling criminals if Alao Akala is also allowed to run on the platform of the party in Oyo State.
If I were Ribadu, maybe I would have seen this from a different perspective. Maybe I would not even consider any elective position below that of the presidency and not under rickety umbrella platform. Maybe for the want of excuses, I may take an appointment in the stead of running for the Adamawa State governorship. Maybe I would have been careful about my utterances; like not saying PDP is sponsoring Boko Haram and then join the league of cold blood murders! Maybe I would have a clearer understanding of the scope of my political drive and area of desired influence. Maybe I would have placed before any other thing, dignity.
There would be no other way to see this than a man’s desperation to get hold of power. Something tells me Ribadu would win the elections and he would be expected to deliver the state for the ruling party come 2015. He would be doing all of the political calculations in favour of the same President Jonathan against the ‘progressives’ he was once with. He also would be under very serious scrutiny; everything he says or does would be critically reviewed. He sure must be hitting the road running and be willing to wield his magic wand to transform Adamawa State. There will be no excuses, no special treatments. He better be ready to prove everyone wrong both in the PDP and APC.
In concluding this piece, I would like to tell those misinformed supporters who get involved in all sort of mud fights and all in support of nasty political goals of some guys called ‘politicians’, continue! When that guy decides to move to the other side of the barricade to negotiate some juicy deals like they always do; your actions would have defined your stupidity.
And finally, I would like to see how Ribadu fares with his new colleagues.