It has been a wonderful week for both President Muhammadu Buhari and Anti-Corruption Czar Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. The Daura born military leader cum democratically elected president just got his certificate of return for a second term. While Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the Director of Operations of the Muhammdu Buhari Campaign Organization played a very important in Buhari’s re-election.
Both Buhari and Ribadu have a lot in common, from losing elections even though both are more than qualified to lead any given people at any moment in time, to both having the so much sought after “integrity” tag, not forgetting their respective abhorrence for anything unlawful. The “integrity” tag as rare as it is in most Nigerian politicians, it is however common in these two, both tested and trusted several times throughout the past few decades. For Adamawa’s Nuhu Ribadu, his stint at the EFCC gave him the integrity tag, not just in Nigeria but all over the world. It could be recalled how he rejected a whooping $15m bribe, a house in an island somewhere in east Africa, as well as a private aircraft from Delta state’s former Governor James Ibori. Commenting on his reasons for rejecting such an offer and much juicier offers than this, the APC man was quoted to have said “We all wanna live good, spend money, get good cars but some of us have chosen to get it lawfully, I abhor black money”, he is said to have made this point with great passion, and truly whoever comes across Nuhu Ribadu would tell you about his total abhorrence for corruption and unlawful proceeds. President Buhari on the other hand rode to power in 2015 promising to fight corruption, but his fight against corruption has left a lot to be desired which has made some of his handlers and followers relate it to the fact that he “played it safe” so as to get easily reelected without much problems from the “corrupt elites”. Some may disagree but after President Buhari without mincing words, told newsmen few days after his reelection that his second term was going to be “tough”, some of us began to make sense of what his handlers and supporters kept saying for the better part of his first tenure.
Nuhu Ribadu hasn’t been involved in Buhari’s first term administration mainly because he was actually in the opposition PDP back in 2015 when he contested for his state’s governorship elections, to which he was defeated by the now ruling APC. A year after that, Ribadu apparently realizing his mistake, came back to the APC, and on coming back, he told newsmen that he’s now at ” home” and rightly so to be fair to him, as he was one of the founding fathers of the APC being from the defunct ACN which is 30% of the APC. On coming back to the APC, Ribadu formed a pressure group the “Black cap revolution movement” which is currently the biggest movement in Adamawa; comprising of young Nigerians who take up Nuhu Ribadu’s signatory cap, the black cap as a sign of imitation of the anti-corruption fighter known mainly for his integrity. Mallam Nuhu Ribadu would later try to jostle Adamawa’s APC Guber ticket away from incumbent governor Bindow, only to be defeated yet again in the state’s primary election which was adjudged to be largely flawed and manipulated in favor of the governor. Ribadu took it as any Muslim faithful would, in good faith and resigned to working for President Buhari’s reelection. Perhaps President Buhari noticed his efforts because not very long after he started canvassing supporters for Buhari’s return, he was appointed by the president to head the field operations directorate of the APC to which he largely delivered all over the country with his canvassers who volunteered and most especially his hometown of Yola, a town the main opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar currently holds the second most influential traditional title in.
Nuhu Ribadu has almost, if not exactly the same values as Muhammdu Buhari- thus, many patriots and supporters of the APC and president Buari are hoping that Ribadu will gets involved in Buhar’s second tenure with a ministerial position or other important role in the government. Pundits are of the opinion that, Ribadu could actually add more substance, integrity, and due process to this administration.
Amir Saad writes from Kano.