Unveiling the soft side of Nigeria’s pragmatic NSA, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu

Unveiling the soft side of Nigeria’s pragmatic NSA, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu

By Abubakar Ndabala

I was dumbstruck with awe and pleasantly surprised by the spectacular landmark strides and peoples oriented programs being undertaken by Nigeria’s incumbent National Security Adviser in giving the people a new lease of life in his home state.

The reasons for this line of thought is not far fetched. It was out of the illusions that as a no nonsense anti graft czar, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the slayer of hardened criminals will have no inkling of human feelings, the capacity for empathy or even an ounce of human compassion.


Professor Mamman Tahir, was the live wire behind APC constitution – Ribadu

Ratification of APC substantive chairman in Adamawa in tandem with law – Ribadu

Ratification of APC substantive chairman in Adamawa in tandem with law – Ribadu

Over the years, my mind has erroneously painted a grim picture of the NSA as a stoutly defiant, uncompassionate and irritatingly unrepentant anti-crime aficionado whose only love is to subject mankind to all kind of trials and tribulations.

Hitherto, it was my belief that all the NSA was preoccupied with is to unravel crime and criminality and ensure outlaws of whatever hue and cry especially the abusers of our common patrimony get maximum retributions for their iniquities.

The myths I had carved about Ribadu being a hard hearted crime buster with zero humanity recently came crashing like a badly arranged pack of cards. In its place, an image of a compassionate, nimble, humility personified and compassionate leader began to surprisingly unravel before my very eyes. For me, Ribadu has a cast of Robinhood personality, hard on criminals but innately soft and compassionate to the plebian mass.

In fact, the reasons for the hard-line posture of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu especially against economic saboteurs as I came to understand is to ensure the masses benefit from the huge endowments Nigeria is blessed with.

Such stance and principles have exposed him to monumental dangers, ostracization, hatred and even threats to his life. Because of the mosaic and intensity of those challenges, Ribadu has to go on self exile at a certain point to remain in one piece.

It is such a true but strange finding about the personality of Ribadu that prodded me to pen this article to dress the anti graft czar in his truly deserving robes and to educate those who have the same fleeting dislike and hatred of Ribadu like me to make a detour.

The reasons why my views about the personality of Ribadu take a drastic change for the better is based on the following facts;

When I came to my village Ndabala to celebrate the Eid el Fitri festivity I was expecting the people to be in melancholic mood as a result of the hardship Nigerians are going through. In fact, I was surprised that up to the day I came to the village, I had not received the usual calls and requests of friends and relatives seeking for support ahead of the festival.

When I arrived in Ndabala, I found out that the reason for the new attitude of the people was due to the symbolic gesture of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu who in a rare fit of compassion flooded the village with rice. Upon my arrival I was told that most of the households in the village were blessed with bags of rice which came to them in the cover of the night.

To my pleasant surprise again, I discovered that the village was illuminated with solar powered security lights in the night. I thought an NGO or even the government must have come to our aid in that regard, but to my shock, I was told that the security lights were installed by Nuhu Ribadu’s benefactors and political associates.

I also came to realize that the NSA has extended similar gestures to the people of Yola through the district heads. A friend of mine who is the chairman of one of the small political parties scattered around told me the NSA has not forgotten about them as he also sent their own package through the leader of Blackcap movement, Comrade Mustapha Atiku Ribadu. My friend even told me that this is the first time smaller opposition political parties were patronized by the ruling party at the national level.

I also found out that some people who initially followed the NSA but later opposed him were also patronized despite their opposition to the political interest of the NSA. Some of them told me that they are still rueing their belligerence against the NSA who despite being betrayed still extend an olive branch to them. Such display of exceptional spiritedness is strange and unprecedented in our contemporary political mileu.

In the same vein, the NSA did not forget his classmates, childhood friends, neighbors and relatives while sharing the food items. But to my utmost surprise, all these gestures were done surreptitiously so that he will not attract undue political mileage.

That is why as a person who believed in good governance and compassionate leadership, I refused to share into the ideals of culture of silence in the face of verifiable track record of service.

Ribadu might have been enamoured by the principle of Pulaaku (modesty) which is an entrenched cultural heritage of the Fulbe, but in democracy, the principle of Pulaaku or the culture of keeping achievements under wraps has no place.

In democracy, the principle of silence is a misnomer. It is like one shooting himself on the foot, to some extent it may even be misconstrued as failure. It is because of these reasons I decided to pen down this treatise to bring out the silent milestones being undertaken by Ribadu despite my initial reservations about his personality. The truth shall always set us free.

Abubakar writes from Ndabala.


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