I’m Running Under ACN – Ribadu
Tuesday, 21 September 2010 00:35 Iyobosa Uwugiaren, Abuja
> Finally falls out with Obasanjo
Former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Malam Nuhu Ribadu has announced his intention to contest the 2011 presidential race under the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
He made this known during his formal declaration of his presidential bid in Abuja yesterday.
One of his close friends told LEADERSHIP that Ribadu had finally fallen out with his former boss, former President Olusegun Obasanjo. “The reason is not very clear; but they started having problems from the days of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. If you check very well you will discover that virtually all former aides of Obasanjo have fallen out with him,” the source stated.
Ribadu said there was no going back on his plans to seek the electorate’s votes in the next year’s polls.
Said Ribadu: “We just wrote a letter to Nigerians – a very important letter explaining and then introducing ourselves to Nigerians and also appealing to our countrymen and women to come along to help us save our own country.
“We just had a very important event yesterday with the youths of Nigeria. They put themselves together and they also called on me to be part of it and we had a very good interaction with them. I have also had wide consultations around and across the country to afford time and chance for me to look at the political parties critically. I have decided as a starting point to go with a new party called the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
“Of course it is the first vehicle and I believe it’s surely going to be bigger than that. The reason why I have gone that direction is simple. Because as a first part for you going to get in, it is usually right for you to observe and judge on the basis of what is on ground and what is existing.”
Explaining what informed his choice of the ACN, the former EFCC boss said that he was very comfortable with what is happening in Lagos State, saying the leadership of Lagos State has shown that there is possibility of good governance.
He added: “Today, I am very happy with what is happening in Edo State. It is also an example of good governance, transparency and accountability; a government that is delivering. I am very happy with even what is happening in Ondo State and pleased with what is going on in Anambra State and therefore that has helped me to go the direction I am going.
“I want to see the possibility of bringing good governance to the Federal Government of Nigeria. And the examples of these gentlemen encouraged me to go in that direction, and the platform, like I said, is the ACN. My intention is, if the registration of new members of the new party starts, I do intend to go to my own ward in Yola and pick the ticket and get registered as a member of the political party.”
He said his prayer and hope is that all the progressives, all those who are doing well for the country and all those with this massive dream of a better Nigeria would come together and stand as one to move forward with the intention of saving the country.
“I believe it is possible. I believe it can work. I believe change is in the air in Nigeria today. It’s not that the progressives have not worked before but they were robbed of the victory. This time Nigerians are going to say no; time has come for us to change. Nigeria is changing. People are waking up; people are saying that it is time for us to have free and fair elections; it is time for our votes to count. This time I can assure you it will work,” he stated. “It did not work before because of stealing of elections, rigging. These people were victims of stolen elections. Now there is change, now Nigerians are saying that we are tired of this horrible way of stealing governments. Now it is old-fashioned, this crude way has to stop.
“If Zimbabwe could organise free and fair elections, why not Nigeria? If Ghana could organise free and fair elections, why not Nigeria? If Sierra-Leone, Liberia – countries that are coming out of civil war – can organise free and fair elections, why not Nigeria? If Guinea that is just coming out of trouble now could organise a free and fair election, why not Nigeria?
“The time has come for free and fair elections in Nigeria and if free and fair election is going to be the case I can assure you the progressives would take it. This is what I believe is happening and what is going to happen and what is encouraging all of us to come together to give our country a chance, a new lease of life, a new hope. It will work and I am sure you also would like the same conclusion based on what is happening today.”
In his letter to Nigerians, Ribadu said he was joining politics because the principles and values in which he believes had obliged him to do so. He said a new Nigeria, a better Nigeria, is not only possible: it is something the nation desperately needs.