Once Again, Ribadu Plays the Fool! By Ogaga Ifowodo

Ogaga Ifowodo

Which of the following statements, in your opinion, best reflects President Goodluck Jonathan’s “honest-to-God” attitude to corruption? (A) The “I don’t give a damn” outburst provoked by the simple demand that he declare his assets publicly? Or (B) this, from his inauguration speech: “The bane of corruption shall be met by the overwhelming force of our collective determination, to rid our nation of this scourge” and in which he declared anew a war against corruption in order to ensure that “the limited resources of this nation will be used for the growth of our commonwealth?” In answering the above question, did you consider his rejection of the report of the Nuhu Ribadu special task force on petroleum revenue?

I thought as much: Statement A. And, yes, you are both amused and mortified by the latest scene from Jonathan’s absurdist drama entitled My War Against Corruption. A truly funny war it is one that is more metaphor than marching armies. It does not require men of character, of probity and proven moral courage, which is why public assets declaration has no place in it. Only words, spoken by him or written in the reports of countless probe panels, committees and special task forces. In the light of the unfolding drama around the Ribadu report, of Jonathan’s determination to “rubbish” it, as the Punch headline of November 9th aptly put it, I am reminded of the words spoken by Jonathan four months ago, on 1 July 2012, through Reuben Abati, his special adviser on media and publicity. In that despatch from the war front, Abati assured us that the war was being bravely fought and won by his boss. Yet, instead of an account of the mounting casualties, of the many corrupt enemies either socially dead or mortally wounded or in panicked retreat, Abati sought only to dismiss the notion that the commander-in-chief is “soft on corruption.” The allegation of tardiness in the prosecution of the war, said Abati, is “aimed at creating the totally false impression that the Jonathan administration is not doing enough to curb corruption.” For the true picture of the battle-field showing the army of the corrupt in disarray, we must first “be wary of those who seek to heat up the polity by politicizing the issue of corruption in the pursuit of their selfish personal and sectional agenda.”

In other words, if you believe that Jonathan is not doing enough to “curb” — let’s not even speak of combating — corruption, then you are selfish. Pursuing a sectional interest. And heating up the polity (wish we had one to heat up!), as much as or far more, perhaps, than Boko Haram’s bombs and bullets. Abati had gone on to recite Jonathan’s many war victories, among them, his appointment of “a tried and tested corruption investigator to head the EFCC,” his decision not to “swear in a nominee for the chairmanship of the ICPC when questions were raised by the public” (so he gives a damn about the public?) “about the propriety of his nomination and clearance by the Senate,” his referral of the report of the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on fuel subsidy to the EFCC, the pending review of the report of the Aig-Imoukhuede committee to verify fuel subsidy payments, and his directive that “the report of the technical committee which reviewed the Petroleum Industry Bill be speedily evaluated and appraised by relevant government ministries and presented to the Federal Executive Council for approval before being returned to the National Assembly for speedy promulgation.” Just the way wars are fought, not so?

And so with the war going so well, Jonathan had no qualms rejecting the report of a special task force he constituted through his petroleum minister, the oil goddess Diezani Alison-Madueke, for the principal purpose of determining and verifying upstream and downstream petroleum revenues. This time, it fell to the self-styled “attack lion,” Doyin Okupe, to send the war despatch. Ribadu and his fellow task force members, he says, did a shoddy job. Expectedly, they were hindered by personal and political interests. “It was a job handled badly and only political and personal interests were bandied,” says Okupe, the clumsy diction betraying his intent to mislead. But when did the government discover that Ribadu was not up to the task, given that the sixth term of reference mandated him to “submit monthly reports for ministerial review and further action?”

And how could Ribadu have failed to see this coming? Can he have forgotten so soon how he was butt-kicked out of the EFCC and hounded after his exit? Constrained to go after only those highly placed treasury looters that happened to be “enemies” of former president Obasanjo — who, lest Abati and Okupe forget, declared the first war against corruption, bandied about the phrase “zero tolerance” and swore to know no “sacred cows” — Ribadu had nonetheless managed to arouse hope and qualified optimism that with just enough sincerity the corruption monster might be chained, if not slayed outright.

Now that another president has made a fool of him once again, it should be clear that the greatest error any one can make is to believe a single word of Jonathan’s anti-corruption drivel. “Certainly, nothing has been done or left undone under the President’s watch to justify the labelling of his administration as “soft on corruption,” says Abati. Well, here is one thing that has been left undone, not minding things not done: Jonathan’s public declaration of his assets. If he won’t do this very simple thing to prove his determination by deed and not mere words, thereby striking fear in the hearts of all who bleed the country to death with their thieving, he should spare us the constant aggravation by confessing what the world already knows: that he does not give a damn.

Corruption is eating us alive and we cannot be patient. We cannot settle for the mere hope that “ultimately” the named and yet-to-be-named thieves robbing us to death will be tried and punished under the law. For as John Maynard Keynes famously put it in a different context, ultimately, meaning in the long run, “we are all dead.”


12 comment(s)
Post a comment

It is not Ribadu that is made

It is not Ribadu that is made a fool but the whole country called Nigeria. I respect Ribadu for serving honestly and honorably to show the world that some Nigerians are good citizens and ready and willing to help whenever call upon to do so.



Another great one from the master

I totally agree with you. He is just making a fool of himself. How can the one who does not give a damn about declaring his assets be able to wage war against others who also don't give a damn like him? None of them gives a damn about the precipice they are pushing Nigeria into. Hopefully they will give a damn when they push Nigerians to the wall and Nigerians turn back to conbtront these colourless individuals

ribadu and his fulani dance band of asaba

(The road to the 13% oil derivation has been long and hard, often paved with sweat and blood of many Niger Delta patriots including Isaac Boro and Saro Wiwa. In fact, D ss sees 13% derivation as d first stept to social-economic and environmental equity and justice. The end of the road, its either 50% derivation or “total resource” control! It should be noted that prior to (1960) the 3 regions agreed to have 100 percent revenue from source. The Republican (1963) constitutions was late manipulated to provide for 50% derivation on mineral resources. It was reduced gradually by successive military regimes until it reached 0% in 1979. Then it was increased to 1.5% in 1982, 3% in 1992 and 13% in 1999 based on the recommendations of the 1994/5 National Constitutional Conference set up by Gen. Abacha. At the National Political Reform Conference (NPRC) convened by obj in early 2005, the SS demanded for 60% derivation but later settled for “25% now and 50% within 5 years)

The Mallam 'Cooked' Himself...

It's bcos of Ribadu's quest for relevance in government regardless of the costs that has cost him his had-earned reputation as (supposedly) Anti Corruption Czar. One can influence governance from the sidelines but, not Ribadu. He wanted a 'role' at all costs but was not smart enough to see that his career would be rubbished if he accepted the ministerial comte job. Even after fellow cmte members were appointed into lucrative posts at the very NNPC they were investigating, he trodged on. Why didn't he raise the 'conflict of interest' alarm or quit on 'moral grounds'? It's bcos he wanted to 'iconize' his name with: "The Ribadu Report", much like Oputa Panel, etc. Goes to show the man has zero analytical skills and is not fit for leadership role. He's an attack dog, mehr nicht! He needs to talk to Buhari about avoiding 'land mines' in politics. No tears from here!


some times in life you feel fools to the trust in life,but did what is right and best for the fellow human beings...GET latest gist and celebrity news and gist here at www.gistyinka.com

Why bother to state the obvious

Good article as per usual, but my man why waste your ink to a nation that has been bastardized by corruption and mismanagement. There has and will be no single leader that will not be corrupt, but all people want is performance. Nigeria is a nation that lives on the will of God, but a nation that evil has taken over. Only a catalytic situation will change its destiny. Adolf Hitlers Germany, Cambodia's Pol Pot, Rwanda are just an example of where humans must reach before good then overcomes.

Once again Ribadu played the fool

By the end of his administration GEJ will go down in history as Nigeria most corrupt leader. Tell Ribadu not to weep too much, a president that will support, and roll out the apparatus of the state in favor of opposition candidate against the candidate of his own party is not worth a pinch of trust. Let GEJ fail us God will not fail us, please let somebody advice GEJ to read Est 4:13-14. God bless Nigeria!

Ribadu is an Unflinching Patriot

Oftentimes, I'm utterly dismayed by the holier-than-thou attitude of some of the so-called Nigerian intellectuals who are mainly preoccupied with armchair critique of everything that’s wrong about Nigeria. The writer of this article has put on display his opinionated outlook on Nuhu Ribadu’s participatory but resolutely principled and dogged attitude towards combating corruption in Nigeria. Once again, Ribadu has put his money where his mouth is; he put at the disposal of his fatherland (when called upon) his world acclaimed skills, reputation and expertise in ‘ forensic corruption’ (my coinage). Whatever Jonathan and his banditry incorporation regime do with the report has no bearing on the sagacity and reputation of Nuhu Ribadu. As such, Ogaga's assertion in this article is a terminal case of intellectual jaundice!

More than declaration of assets. Remove Diezani and Bon Otti

Ogaga, thank you. However, other than declaring his assets publicly, if Jonathan wants the world to take him seriously that he has indeed embarked on war on corruption, he should further remove his inamorata, Diezani Allison-Madueke, as the Minister of Petroleum Resources and his man-Friday, the non-Accountant, Bernard Okechukwu (Bon) Otti, as the Group Executive Director (Accounts and Finance) of NNPC. If he can do this I shall trumpet it online that he has indeed commenced war on corruption.

As long as Diezani and Otti continue to hold sway in NNPC, pillaging the corporation's accounts, displaying the unconscionable greed that is presently being played out, I will regard his utterances and those of his mouthpiece, Reuben Abati, about combating corruption as mere grandstanding, blustering and as we say in Nigeria "giri-giri." God help Nigeria!


I remember the day Ribadu accepted this job a friend of mine came into my office making fun of me and saying it was time to tone down my criticisms of the GEJ government because "even Ribadu has agreed to serve in it" Honestly, I was pained that Ribadu fell for the bait after the mugging he received from ACN in the so called 2011 presidential election. He can only blame himself. If he wants to continue to have any relevance in the political space called Nigeria, it is time for him to start making reasoned decisions. He cannot stumble from one poor decision to another and expect people to continue to think that he has what it takes to lead the country. the choice is his to make.

On Ribadu

Ribadu is such a good lad that his findings under EFCC was hardly clear enough to be used as a yardstick of verification viz Jonathan and Patience,and now he has concluded an investigation which in his own words were not all verified.How can we say there is nothing misty about his operation?It is a kind of "Cremona business" nothing is ever "lost or won".

Post a comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Comments are limited to a maximum of 1000 characters.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <p> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.