Nuhu Ribadu …And The Man Died
When history is written about Nigeria by future historians, one name that will feature prominently will be Nuhu Ribadu, arguably the brightest lad the North gave to the country alongside Nasir El Rufai. Like harmattan fire, his fame spread around the globe as the renowned Czar of the EFCC, becoming a terror to the corrupt mind.
He was revered, reverend, idolized and almost becoming a myth, so much that even the selective prosecution tag hung on him never stood the test of time. Anyone he called corrupt was viewed so, even if the heavens can vow for the person incorruptible nature. He was the compass of morality, the prism through which credibility was looked through, the thermometer to check honesty and the scale to weigh corruption. Yes, he was almost getting immortal.
Then the bug that brings down great men caught up with him, just when he was about taking his place among the global stars through his invitation to international conferences including the US Congress. The very men that he once murdered through his report became his friend, as he became a politician, joining the defunct APC.
Unprepared for the race, he was made the party’s Presidential Candidate in 2011 to run against President Goodluck Jonathan. Even though he failed, Nigerians believed his failure was due to rigging. Impatient as the wind and probably desperate for power and incurable ambition to change what we cannot see, he dumped the CHANGE of the APC to the PDP. As a usurper, he ousted those who were in the party and muzzled his way as its governorship aspirant.
It became clear that he was lacking in principles and conviction of the very corrupt free Nigeria that he preached. If he had taken the (James) Ibori’s $15 million bribe, it would have been better, for by joining those he was vilified, the man in him died.
The very President Jonathan who he once accused of being corrupt during his days as Bayelsa State governor was suddenly canonized by him as a Saint, and his wife who was accused of money laundering baptized as Arch Bishop. The PDP, which his caustic tongue once poisoned, were given life back and named apples among grapes by him. He saw himself eating from the same plate with (Diepreye) Alamieyeseigha that he once caused to be jailed. That was Ribadu for you.
As the results trickle in from Adamawa State and being obvious that the APC is winning with a landslide, regret will be his companion, and shame his best friend, for the beautiful hands of time cannot be turned back. Like my favourite lyrical ballad poetry, Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, he will be humming:
“Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide, wide sea!
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony.”
For men like us that love him, we will look back mourning a friend who despite his road to greatness was unable to discover his true self. But there is still a chance for redemption if only…
- Fejiro Oliver, a Journalist, tweets at: @fejirooliver86