NSA: This cap surely fits Ribadu well
By Barr Danladi Danasabe
As president Bola Ahmed Tinubu braced to announce one of the most critical offices in his administration, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), one man who Nigerians seem to almost unanimously settled for, is the pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Malam Nuhu Ribadu.
Even in the context of Islam, the person who get the endorsement of majority of the people is seen as the most suitable for a given job and it is envisaged that those who God gave powers to facilitate the appointment should follow the yearnings of the people.
Immediately after president Bola Ahmed Tinubu was sworn into office on 29 May, 2023, the media space became awash with pleas by Nigerians calling on the president to appoint the anti corruption czar as the next NSA.
The online and traditional media space started buzzing with excitement and calls on the president to appoint the man who is naturally equipped with the best tool to succeed in that critical national assignment.
The clarion call by the people on the president is based on the belief that going by his track record and zero tolerance for corruption, Ribadu is the only fitting personality for the office, considering the fact that corruption is the most important factor fuelling insecurity in the country.
Ribadu’s zero tolerance for corruption is the most important asset needed to tackle insecurity in our land considering how the former occupiers of the office were accused of involvement in one shady deal or the other. In the past, ranking officers of the Nigerian military have occupied the office, but despite their military background, they were not able to nip the raging insecurity in the bud mostly on account of corruption.
In Nigeria, the war against insecurity is a war against corruption and only Ribadu fits that bill squarely.
A case in point is the allegation of $2bn against former NSA under President Goodluck Jonathan, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd). Under his watch, $2bn withdrawn ostensibly to fight the raging Boko Haram insurgency, ended up lining the pockets of corrupt public officials and politicians in a bizarre display of official rascality. As the bazaar lasted, thousands of hapless Nigerians were slaughtered by the Boko Haram elements just as millions others were either internally displaced or turned to refugees.
Since the return of the current democratic dispensation in 1999, all those who were appointed NSA with the exception of Kayode Are, are all retired high ranking military officials who attained the position of Colonel and above.
Under the very watch of these generals, Nigeria became a killing field as Boko Haram with it’s Siamese twin, banditry became northern Nigeria’s security conundrum while IPOB held the south east hostage just as other fringe criminal gangs held south west and south south by the jugular.
The surge of social insecurity across Nigeria is attributable to the devious activities of conflict entrepreneurs within and outside the military who continued to hide under the insecurity to milk the nation dry. Since the beginning of the insurgency and other forms of insecurity, trillions of tax payers money have been expended to contain the raging imbroglio, but despite the huge expenditure, the menace of insecurity only multiplied in leaps and bounds.
Researches variously conducted on the best attributes to consider in leadership recruitment process have validated that honesty and integrity are the major credentials required by a leader to succeed while competence and experience trailed behind. It has been validated also that competence without integrity is archetypal to a car without a wheel. It is on this premise the failure of the past NSA’s to make success in the war against insecurity could be situated.
Perhaps that is why despite the vast experiences of the past NSA’s Nigeria failed to record any mileage in the war against insecurity despite extortionate expenditure in the last two decades.
But in sharp contrast, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, a low ranking police officer when he was appointed to superintend the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) took the nation by storm in his mission to rid Nigeria from the menace of corruption.
The man who became the nemesis of corrupt officials was hated, reviled and despised by the Nigeria’s colony of compromised elites who held the nation by the jugular. In their desperation to compromise Ribadu, these group of unconscionable Nigerians promised the young anti corruption czar heavens on earth.
At a point in time, a south south governor even offered Ribadu a whooping $150m as bribe, but despite the temptation, Malam as he is fondly called by admirers, rejected the bribe and exposed the monumental heist to the public.
When their various attempts to compromise the no nonsense anti graft hero, they resorted to threats on his life. Ribadu at a point in time became an endangered specie amongst Nigeria’s elites because of the way he was hated amongst the league of Nigeria’s most corrupt individuals. Uncountable attempts were made on his life just as he became a persona non grata during the administration of Umaru Yaradua of blessed memory.
Because of the severity of the belligerence and threats on his life, Ribadu has to go on exile to remain in one piece. In addition to his fidelity and patriotic fervour for Nigeria, Ribadu is a man with an extensive network of connection across the world and can even move mountains as far as global diplomacy and network is concerned.
Again, he is a man with deep rooted investigation prowess at the tip of his fingers and highly connected in local and international intelligence circles. Can someone be more qualified to hold this exalted position than Ribadu?
Danladi, an Adamawa based politician and philanthropist writes from Jimeta.