by Oluwatosin Fatoyinbo Politics is a game of numbers, the more people you have on your side the better your chances. However you may have people on your side but having refused to cut your coat according to your cloth, the people may become really insignificant when it matters most. It is the story of politicians who despite the realities of the moment, over dream and want to climb the ladder from way up rather than ascend from below; even Charismatic Barack Obama had to go to the US Senate first…
Imo state Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha is a good analogy. For many years, he kept gunning to be President. And while the rest of us wondered what he was doing, he seemed to be blind to it. Eventually, common sense prevailed and he is today gunning for the Presidency again, but first he had to become a governor, he had to climb the ladder..
When in 2011, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu became the standard flag bearer of the now defunct Action Congress of Nigeria; no one needed a Prophet to predict that he would lose. And of course, he did, and gallantly too. What with Asiwaju Tinubu allegedly entering a deal that sold the South West to President Goodluck Jonathan.
As we reach the threshold to the 2015 elections, wisdom has prevailed and Ribadu has chosen to cut his coat according to his cloth. He will give the Adamawa Guber election a shot in 2015.
Now that he has wisely changed course, he should be able to give a good account of himself in the 2015 Adamawa state Governorship election for the following reasons:
- EFCC Track record: Under Nuhu Ribadu, the EFCC achieved a feat no other Chairman has come close to. He was brave and fearless, indicting former Governors, Federal Ministers and sitting Senators. Infact he achieved 270 convictions. Notable among those convictions is that of his Police Boss, Mr Tafa Balogun whom he successfully prosecuted at the Federal High Court. Of course, Ribadu will suffer for that once his ‘protector’ Chief Olusegun Obasanjo left office but the fact that he could even think of prosecuting Balogun was sheer bravery and many have continually hailed his years as the country’s anti-corruption czar. Ribadu’s achievements in the EFCC included the de-listing of Nigeria from the FATF List of Non-Cooperative Countries & Territories, admission into the prestigious Egmont Group and the withdrawal of the US Treasury FINCEN Advisory on Nigeria. They helped make the EFCC the foremost Anti-Corruption Enforcement Agency on the continent, cementing Ribadu’s reputation in the world as a respected anti-corruption crusader. Since his exit, the EFCC has become as toothlessly useless.
- Dynamism: he is probably the most dynamic, charismatic young politician Nigeria can boast of having. He is without ethnic, religious or ideological baggage unlike many Northern Muslim politicians. He might be a rough diamond, a political work in progress but he sure has enough arsenals to win a Governorship election.
- Respect: Ribadu is one of the few Nigerian politicians who command the respect of the people regardless of what party he belongs to. He happens to be one of the less vilified APC politician while he was in the APC unlike his colleague Mallam Nasir El-Rufai who was always in trouble with PDP supporters especially on social network, Twitter. He is less antagonistic and has a proven track record which commands respect. He shares this particular attribute with El-Rufai. Both were some of the bright lights of the Obasanjo era.
- Policy Plan: I read Ribadu’s Policy plan with which he campaigned for the 2015 elections. It contained vital information as to how this brilliant politician is wired. He had a well articulated plan and an enduring framework for its achievement; at least it looked very good on paper. I know Implementation is an entirely different ball game. The policy themes focused on Human Capital Development, the Economy, Infrastructure, Governance, Youth Employment, Agriculture and Food Security, Defense and National Security, Niger Delta, and Foreign Policy. If he can lay out a policy plan for Adamawa, then he’s got a good chance. Nigerians are becoming too intelligent to be outsmarted. There is mass awareness and politicians are being scrutinized and put on their toe. With such a beautiful plan, reaching out to the elites should not be a problem for Ribadu. He will need to do some dirty work too though as policies alone don’t win election in Nigeria, not at least for now.
- Obasanjo Link: despite his defection to the ACN, Ribadu is believed to still retain his links with former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Obasanjo, it was that gave him the EFCC platform and backed him up even in the midst of calls for his removal. Ribadu’s travails began the moment the Otta warlord stepped out of Aso Rock. Many believe that Ribadu remains Obasanjo’s godson and the old man’s influence can still go a long way.
Conclusively, should the PDP fail to pick him at the primaries scheduled for October 29, Ribadu will lose face and become an object of ridicule and the above virtues will become useless sounding cymbal. We wish him the best.