By Tony Icheku
Ahead of the 2015 general elections, the coast is becoming clearer as to who becomes the next governor of Adamawa State. The emergence of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu as the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP indicates to a large extent who may become the next governor of the state.
Perhaps laying the background for Adamawa’s metamorphosis is the unexpected unanimity that heralded the election of Ribadu. It would be recalled that the political gladiators who elected him were ready only a few months back to do battle. But by their action, they have sheathed their swords, ready now to allow peace reign.
What had given some observers sleepless nights is whether Ribadu, a new entrant to the party would be acceptable to the party’s stakeholders.
However, his overwhelming victory in the primary had proved such pessimists wrong. Adamawa people have broken with the past politics of rudderlessness, bickering and inept leadership. By embracing Ribadu, they sealed a pact with him to rebuild the 23 year old state which had for long been beleaguered by multifaceted challenges.
Ribadu, former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chairman, is a man with exceptional passion. Passion for excellence and passion for a better society. Such passion enabled him carve his name on gold as a no-nonsense anti-graft tsar under former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration.
During his tenure as EFCC boss, Ribadu showed his passion to change society. He spoke out against the cancer called corruption. He did his EFCC job courageously.
His exit from the EFCC and subsequently from the Nigeria Police Force did not quench this passion. His subsequent entry into politics elicited the widest reactions. But Ribadu is not in politics to make a statement. He wants to win.
Perhaps this explains his hasty entry to the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, to fly its presidential flag in the 2011 presidential election. His defection from the party and entry to the PDP equally stirred the hornets’ nest. Many who saw him as their hero felt disappointed. But such is life: ideals and pragmatics are clearly intertwined at every junction of decision. And not all good decisions have the appearance of a rose flower.
Ribadu, the pragmatic had chosen the mundane, pragmatic job of service to humanity, to his Adamawa people in particular. One does not therefore need to go too far to rationalise his reason for choosing the PDP to pursue his governorship ambition. It offers him the political structure to make it possible.
Beyond the 2015 general election, what looms large is the future and development of this state which could be described as being in the doldrums for now.
Axiomatically, Adamawa is not lacking in human resources needed to propel the state actualise its potentials. From all sectors of both the public and private sector, the military and professional sector, one would find quality intellectuals from the state. If the elites from the state had been so concerned, Adamawa State could have transformed to a paradise.
Exploiting the resources of the state would be a fruitless exercise if bold and courageous leadership to take the hard decisions is lacking.
But Ribadu already has a reputation for taking hard decisions. Under his watch, the EFCC charged prominent bankers, former as well as serving state governors, ministers, senate presidents, high ranking political apparatchiks and party members, commissioners of Police, and “419” operators to court.
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