Ribadu as NSA: Can any appointment beat that?
By Mohammed Ismail
I was overwhelmed with excitement when president Bola Ahmed Tinubu through the office of the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) announced Malam Nuhu Ribadu as his special adviser on security last week.
The announcement, has elicited raging debates on whether the appointment of Ribadu as special adviser to the president on security approximates to the National Security Adviser (NSA) or not.
A lot of us who wish to see a better Nigeria for their children and the generation yet unborn remained upbeat that despite the hoopla sorrounding the announcement, Ribadu will still get the critical job knowing the mindset of Nigeria’s president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu in giving corruption a bloody nose in order to entrench sanity and rule of law in the country.
Our hope was further reinforced by the fact that no Nigerian alive knows the antecedents and disposition of Ribadu towards ridding our beloved country from the cankerworm of corruption like president Tinubu.
It needs no equivocation or prevarication to state that Nuhu Ribadu is the chord needed by this baby administration to harmonize and consolidate the success of its war against social insecurity which is critical to Nigeria’s socio-economic renaissance.
The intractable social insecurity and its domino effects are the very reasons why Nigeria is at the threshold of balkanization. It is also the primary reason why foreign direct investment is eluding the country like a plague. No sensible investor will be willing to bring his hard earned resources into a country completely overtaken by high calibre criminals and bandits.
Ribadu is among the few Nigerians with the repertoire to take the war to the doorsteps of the cacophony of official and unofficial bandits currently feasting on the resources meant to ensure peace and harmony in our land which is battered by years of insecurity.
Such is the underlying reasons why social insecurity in our beloved country became a recurring decimal despite the allocation of trillions of naira to nip the imbroglio in the bud in the last decade. It is the very reason why Nigeria, despite its military might has to hire mercenaries and ethnic militia to safeguard its oil facilities in the south south. It is also the reason why rag tag Boko Haram insurgents defied the most potent military might in Africa.
He has done it before at a relatively young age when he took this country by storm as the pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). At that prime age, he could easily be swayed by the ephemeral lures of riches and ostentatious life style dangled before his eyes by the constituency of the most corrupt Nigerian elites. But to their dismay, the young and principled police officer dismissed them with the wave of the hand.
When he refused to join the fray, these corrupt elements conspired and deployed all manner of blackmail to make the young man buckle, but his resilience in calling off their bluff made them to realize the only way for them is to silence him for good.
On that premise a number of attempts were made on the life of the anti-corruption tsar, but the more they attempt to kill him the more determined he becomes in his avowed determination to give his robust contributions to the betterment of the Nigerian state.
It needs no telling to say that the major reason behind Nigeria’s appalling insecurity is the fact that it provides some unpatriotic Nigerians in and outside the government the opportunity to make unsavory capital out of the plague.
Those forces and their collaborators in arms invested a lot of energy at ensuring that Ribadu was not given the NSA portfolio as his coming they rightly believe, will mark the end of their bloody enterprise over the years and the consequence of that will be dire to them. Apart from that, the fear that their ugly past may be exposed all added to their trepidation.
In their determination to eclipse Ribadu’s chances, they resorted to feeding the public with all sort of lies and disinformation by imputing that the office of the NSA is the repository of only the retired generals.
Unfortunately, their lopsided and warped logic and half truths failed to fly because even in America, our model of democracy, civilians have occupied the office of the NSA.
Conversely, our president is so sophisticated and knowledgeable to be lured into making imperious and unwieldy decisions to suit the caprices of few unscrupulous entities at the detriment of collective interest of Nigeria, hence deflating their egos by doing what is right.
That is why these elements did not spare any effort in their determination to ensure that Ribadu was barred from getting the office so that they can continue with their high wire corruption untrammeled.
Such high wire corruption is the main reason behind the spiralling social insecurity we are witnessing despite the recruitment of retired soldiers to administer the office of national security advisor.
The singular appointment of Ribadu as Nigeria’s NSA is the most eloquent testimony that the president, unlike his immediate predecessor has sided with Nigerians and has ditched the corrupt elements who are hell bent in holding Nigeria hostage.
Since his coming, the president has taken some bold and critical decisions which his predecessors including retired generals failed to take with the appointment of Ribadu as another icing on the cake.
Ismail, a former editor in leadership newspaper stables writes from Yola.