(By Mohammed Dahiru Aminu)
“Because the nation is one bedevilled by a preponderance of thieves masked as statesmen, thus, in such a clime as ours, one couldn’t help but applaud a personality as Ribadu’s, who although fallible, is one person who lacks the inclination to pilfer public funds and will therefore be able to govern effectively and place us on the path to development“.
Following the impeachment and removal of the retired Navy Admiral, Murtala Nyako, as governor of Adamawa state and the subsequent vacancy that ensued upon the state’s Government House, and given that as stipulated by the nation’s constitution, a new government is expected to emerge exactly three months after the dethronement of an erstwhile administration, the people of Adamawa would have to go to the polls again hopeful of a better tomorrow; optimistic of a government personifying the potentials of outperforming ones that preceded her ever since Nigeria’s return to democracy fifteen years ago.
Since the return to democracy in 1999, Adamawa could safely pass for the one state that had the least feeling of the so-called dividends of democracy. The state of play of Adamawa’s previous administrations could at best be described as tormenting, repulsive, cold-blooded, eerie improvidence. While the Boni Haruna led administration saw a horrendous economic destitution reigning supreme, poor standard of living, intensified youth employment, abeyant basic infrastructure and social conveniences, ineffable extremity of education and health sectors, etc, the Murtala Nyako led administration had equally refused to take a different but positive curve but only continued in the manner which saw the state plunging further from a condition of paucity to one of nihility.
With the by-election at the corner on Adamawa, an important incident is the candidacy of Nuhu Ribadu, the retired police officer and former anti-corruption tsar. For all intents and purposes, Ribadu’s run for the government house represents at least one of the brighter and certainly obtainable chances capable of igniting the hopes of a people who for a decade and half have been so successively dehumanised by leaderships they so elected to serve them. For many, Ribadu’s candidacy symbolises that quintessence which epitomises the pedigree of possessing the least tolerance towards graft. Under his leadership as master corruption fighter at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ribadu exemplified a headship so fine and a service so patriotic.
Because the nation is one bedevilled by a preponderance of thieves masked as statesmen, thus, in such a clime as ours, one couldn’t help but applaud a personality as Ribadu’s, who although fallible, is one person who lacks the inclination to pilfer public funds and will therefore be able to govern effectively and place us on the path to development. Though many Nigerians seem to be disappointed over Ribadu’s recent defection from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), after he must have perhaps caught sight of the PDP as that only party which promises a lot easier path to realising his governorship ambition, such a decision shouldn’t have come to his supporters as a let-down given that change of political associates has always been popular with politicians as it is typical of our stage of party-political development.
At the moment, what the people of Adamawa must look for in a governor or a person vying for that office is not to expect a superhuman creature who must survive an of-course Nigerially-untenable litmus tests—such as the ability to change political associates no matter the circumstances—but a certain kind of person who like Ribadu, after been tested still came out untainted as far as pocketing public funds is concerned. Rather than indulging in theft, Ribadu went after the thieves, impressively. Adamawa should look for a good human leader who gives hope that he will make a difference if given opportunity of governance.
Candidate Ribadu is a good potential leader of our state because of the fact that he holds no record of stealing public funds—in a country where theft has been elevated to normalcy status—as well as having a record of turning down hefty bribes. As long as Ribadu retains these angelic attributes, we, the people must be willing to forgive his other sins coming in the form of twists and turns of his political journey. May God save us from us!
Mohammed Dahiru Aminu teaches at the Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola.
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