A former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, has said he is not bothered about the pressure mounted by his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), to halt his planned defection to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The APC leadership has continued to dissuade the former anti-corruption chief from defecting to the PDP.
But reacting to the move, Ribadu noted that while he appreciated the gestures, he is entitled to his decision.
Speaking through his media aide, Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, the former presidential aspirant seeking to contest the Adamawa governorship election said the current pressure was a sign of his competence.
A statement signed by Abdulaziz and made available to THISDAY in Abuja yesterday noted that: “Ribadu has support irrespective of political leanings in the state. The people need someone with Ribadu’s credentials. Thus it is no wonder he is under pressure from all quarters.”
Abdulaziz also added that Ribadu had grassroots appeal as a result of his anti-corruption crusade which made him a house hold name.
Since it got out that Ribadu wants to run for the governorship, many commentators have either hailed or flayed the decision.
Apart from the choice of the PDP platform, some observers have criticised the office the Adamawa politician is seeking.
But Abdulaziz said the former EFCC boss was enjoying massive support from the state because the people have identified corruption as the biggest issue.
He noted that although Ribadu did not have a godfather, he has widespread support from major stakeholders both in the state and the presidency.
Meanwhile, a former scribe of the PDP in the state, Mr. P. P. Elisha, has faulted moves by some political heavyweights to deny Ribadu automatic admission into party
Elisha who spoke with journalists at his residence in Yola, described the action as unfair to the party and freedom of individuals to associate.
He maintained that “these” people who now pride themselves as members of the PDP were given waivers in 2011, adding that some of them had added colour to the party with their aura.
“It is an act of gross injustice and unfairness not to allow Ribadu join the PDP,” he said.
According to him, the elders and those crying foul had in 2011 disregarded due process in picking candidates according to laid down guidelines, as he expressed surprise that the same people were crying foul, adding “that he who must agitate for equity and justice must come with clean hands.”
“I remember in 2011 when we were in Bauchi, the incumbent national chairman of the party was aspiring to contest for primaries for the presidential ticket of the party. He mobilised for an alleged imposition. The same scenario is playing out now.
“But when we went to Eagle Square in Abuja, nobody protested against the imposition of the party’s presidential candidate in 2011. The convention was held as the president emerged the candidate and eventually won the presidential election,” Elisha said.
The former scribe explained that the national chairman of PDP should not be crucified for replaying the same type that was played in 2011, saying it was the same method applied to some person who had aspired for the presidency of the country on the platform of the PDP despite the fact that there were many presidential aspirants then.
“The same thing rolled out in the state when we came back to the state after the convention. The same stakeholders crying fouls now said we should adopt Murtala Nyako as the governorship candidate of the party against all odds, despite the fact that there were many aspirants for the office.
“At that time, only five of us, Musa Kamale, PP Elisha and three others who frowned at such action said it was imposition as primaries were not conducted. Between our trip from Bauchi and Abuja, a decision was taken in favour of Nyako without primaries.
“If it was done in 2011 or 2012, why should it not be done now? Why are the same people crying foul? Adamu Mua’zu suffered the same fate because he was a presidential aspirant.”
“They are only making noise, am sorry to say that, but the facts are there for everyone to see.”
Elisha, who vouched for the credibility of the former EFCC boss, said Ribadu could only be likened to the disposition of General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), whose aspiration for Nigeria “is to free the society of corruption and indecency.”
He said if elected, Ribadu would make sure that there is equity and fairness in the political and the administrative system in the state “because he is a tested and trusted person whose passion is needed for the development and growth of the state.”