Editorial: Nuhu Ribadu Is Wrong For The Petroleum Task Force


Nuhu_Ribadu on campaign trail

The noise surrounding the said oil subsidy removal and/or fuel price hike appear to linger past its radius of influence into new theaters of the absurd thanks to the boundless abilities in the exhibition of acute maladministration by the President of the federal republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebelemi Jonathan in tandem with the executive cabinet and the newly unveiled cartel termed the oil cabals.
Today, the oil price hike by the federal government of Nigeria is clear and well understood to be a badly timed Greek gift that draws ill financial blood out of the poor to feeds the gluttons of the Abuja led government in Aso Rock; the point is no longer debatable. Our President erred through his yearning to gratify the political movers and shakers growling for blood along the hallways and corridors of power in Aso Rock. But Nigerians managed to forgive Mr. President. At least some Nigerians forgave him. For others, it remains a hard swallow.
Nonetheless, the calming of spirits came through what appeared a turnaround in the decision on the fuel price hike, not minding his hand was forced largely by the massive protest that quickly slipped out of the control of the organized labor, and in part, by what appears an opportunity served the political hawks at the House of Representatives lurking to sever the President’s political life – via the launch of an investigation committee into the management oil subsidy funds – with the likelihood of possible indictment of the President and his administration. The President’s decision to peg the fuel pump price at N97 came as a sedative move, a temporal ease to the mounting tensions.
But the administrative maladies did not go away.
The President recent adoption of the sacked former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] as the head of the newly constituted Petroleum Task Force [PTF] spells naivety on the part of the President’s ability to place square pegs in square holes, thus, misfiring in the most latent manner tantamount to lucid abuse of the people’s trust – a near conclusive evidence the President may have an incomplete understanding of the stakes at play. Malam Nuhu Ribadu’s well documented anti-Nigerian activities while living as United Kingdom refugee unpatriotically soils the intent and spirit behind the formation of the PTF. President Jonathan may have selectively failed to recall how Nuhu Ribadu fought the administration of Yar’Adua/Jonathan in the most mischievous and boyish manner from the safe havens of the United Kingdom. Nuhu Ribadu fought the government of Nigeria like an enemy combatant, a near treasonable offense.
But an argument could be made that he was a political refugee who sought safety at the shores of UK, and for this reason, his activities ought to be side stepped. But side stepping what amounts nefarious activities while serving the self imposed political exile in UK does not discount his colorful activities while the Chairman of EFCC in the period leading up to the 2007 general elections where he simply played a role of a brute rapist – repeatedly raping the Nigerian democracy through the selective use of the anti-graft agency as a pre-selection clearing-house for would-be candidates or aspirants in the upcoming elections. And the saddening part was the openness of it. The then President, General Olusegun Obasanjo would use the Nuhu Ribadu threat of unleashing political embarrassment as a tool to deter political opponents and would be political opponents from mounting a challenge against him or his candidate. Through this, both Obasanjo and Ribadu sacrificed the nurturing young democracy to the dogs under the guise of anti graft project – and in the process, positioned their choice candidates at choice seat.
Many within the Nigerian populace were fooled. Nuhu Ribadu was accepted by the gullible as a crusader against corruption but nothing could have been further from the truth.
As the dust, raised by the illusionary gimmicks of 2007 via the Obasanjo and Ribadu act settled, it served a reality shocker that none of the so-called corrupt governors and other political officer holders which Nuhu Ridabu so courageously arrested and arraigned were ever jailed or imprisoned for their said financial crimes. Rather, the import of the illusionary gimmick was simply to subvert the democracy process of free and fair elections. The emergence of the then Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to the Governor of Bayelsa State – was one of the classic cases. Other cases are abound.
So the integrity of Nuhu Ribadu as the public crusader against the evils of financial management is suspect. It glitters but it is certainly not gold. It is questionable whether he was ever the real McCoy. As per leadership qualities, Nuhu Ridabu remains a retired young police officer with very limited experience in the arena of leadership. He has only been tested once – at the EFCC. The result of his EFCC experience speaks for itself. He was a political pun. He was used by the former President at will. Nuhu Ribadu did not lead while he was at the EFCC. He served “Baba”. He corruption through the eyes of Obasanjo. He did not see corruption in Obasanjo neither did he see corruption in the many aides surrounding Obasanjo. It is without apology that one can say that his leadership attributes while at the EFCC were non-apparent, non-existent, silent and plainly out of visible sight.
His limited or none existent knowledge of the petroleum industry serves another disadvantage to his already questionable qualification. And so it begs the question as to why the President tapped on him for the sensitive position of head of the PTF? And how will Nuhu Ribadu report to the Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison Madueke?
{Malam Nuhu Ribadu was the Action Congress of Nigeria [ACN] presidential flag bearer for the April 2011 presidential elections. He contested against the then President Jonathan under the political banner of the ACN.}

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