The reported dragging out of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and his family members from the graduation ceremony of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies at Kuru on Saturday 22nd of November 2008 is the height of this administration’s lack of respect for decorum and due process. It is audacious in its sheer barbarity. There is no doubt any longer, if ever there was, that some persons in the administration are bent on punishing Ribadu for his modest achievements at the EFCC. Those he exposed and who have now bought their ways back to power and imposed their proxies at several levels are showing us the precise colour of vendetta. But the question is, should we the citizens whose resources were the subject of the rapacious venality of these corrupt people fold our hands and do nothing in the circumstance? I sincerely think not. We must find the courage to condemn this despicable act of brigandage committed before our very eyes. Only those who have no respect for the people whom they claim elected them can perpetrate this sort of infamy!
Without any doubt the Gestapo-like manner in which the latest act against Ribadu was executed reveals the existence of a mafia right in the corridors of power. It is our duty to rid our system, or better still the system, of this mafia. Doubtless the fact that the questionable mandate of the government might be responsible for its impunity-for no government truly elected in a free and fair election can carry on as the present one without regard for the feelings of the people. The responsibility is ours to put a stop to the routine excesses of a government that has lost even its myopic focus at inauguration.
Ribadu might have presided over a thoroughly selective anti-corruption agency, and indeed he did, for which many of us carped him at the time. But if the truth must be told, he is shoulder and head above the minions who seek to persecute him for showing the courage to fight a section of the corrupt people. Have we not now seen how the phony war is prosecuted? If this government does not have any agenda other than to go after the head of Ribadu, it is clear that we must act speedily to stop it in its dirty tracks. We need to form a brigade of people of conscience against the tyranny of power. I suggest that we can start by inundating the office of the Attorney General with letters expressing our disgust at Ribaduphobia. Copies of the letters can be sent to the African Commission on Human Rights and the letter pages of both local and international media.
Nevertheless, we must never lose sight of the main antic of the people waging this singular, irresponsible war. They aim at paralyzing even the thought that it is possible to wage war against corruption without reprisal. It is not directed any more against Ribadu than against anyone who would like to start from where Ribadu was stopped. The dubious lesson is that it is just not possible to fight the cabal and that if you do they will come after you. So at the root of all this is the question of who own this country, the citizens or the axis of corruption. People who ought to bury their heads perpetually in shame are the ones now instigating the psychological war to intimidate us. The only way to repossess our humanity and citizenship is to do everything possible to resist them and the time is certainly now.