POLITICS: 2015 – THE CASE FOR A RIBADU VICE PRESIDENCY -by Joe Dauda

Filed under: National Issues,Political Issues |

POLITICS: 2015 –  THE CASE FOR A RIBADU VICE PRESIDENCY

 

Note: This article was written two(2) months ago by the said author, but did not get a publication space until now. OpinionNigeria is certain that you will find its idea, analysis and style of writing interesting.

Sometime in April, 2013, I published a book focusing on President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. This book went by the title, My Phlegmatic President, and its subtitle – A thesis for smarter intercourse with President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan through the perspective of human psychology — gives a peek into its 127-page content. In this book, I categorically declared that, on the basis of my personal analysis, President Jonathan is a Phlegmatic-Sanguine. In several places in the book, I copiously stated that my views were my views; they stood to be corrected and were not in any way sacrosanct, even though none of those caveats was strong enough to deny me my right to free speech. I took a dive into the world of human psychology to tell the world why I thought the president acted the way he did and also how smart people could find a way around that unforgivable fact.

A few months after releasing this book, I began to think thoroughly about Nigeria, and especially so in the context of the Jonathan presidency; then, out of the blue, I was inspired to do another book with the above title. However, due to the pressure of my work as a writing consultant and sheer laziness, I could not pull myself together to do the book. Nevertheless, on May 29, 2014, it suddenly occurred to me that the window for sharing my thoughts with fellow countrymen was fast closing. I would have to speak up now or forever remain silent, since my private thoughts, which I thought were relevant today, would have freely gained two letters – “I” and “R” — and become irrelevant anytime after the next general elections.

In order not to bore readers with painstaking analysis in building my case, I have elected to do something I earnestly hope will result in a win-win situation. It will at once spare me the extra energy required to do an actual book, and save the reader extra time, while still giving the essence of my thoughts, which I shall proceed to distill below.
For those itching to know who will be Ribadu’s immediate boss in my thesis, it is His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

Qualification:
The most important factor must be whether or not Mallam Nuhu Ribadu is qualified to be Nigeria’s Vice President. The answer to this is a resounding “yes” and there is no need to belabour this point but only to state that Nuhu Ribadu has the pedigree, as proven by the fact that he was the Presidential candidate of a key opposition party in the last general elections.

Suitability (1):
Many experts have said that corruption is the bane of Nigeria’s development. In fact, the President of the World Bank, Christine Lagarde, recently re-echoed this view when she said that it is corruption that is breeding poverty in Africa. As at today, the most reliable, most renowned, most trustworthy, most credible and most effective anti-corruption czar we have in Nigeria is Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. I am not insinuating that Ribadu is perfect or was ever perfect in his anti-corruption activities. But most Nigerians alive today who have been defrauded by local or international criminals would prefer to have Mallam Nuhu Ribadu be the one to seek redress for them, other than any other Nigerian, with all due respect to those who have come after Ribadu. Again, most Nigerians alive today will be more confident of real change, were Mallam Nuhu Ribadu to gain the clout he used to have and, once again, sit atop the nation’s anti-corruption agency. As Vice President, Nuhu Ribadu can concentrate his energies on fighting corruption. With his links in Interpol and experience in the EFCC, Mallam Ribadu can plug the waste in Nigeria’s government and repatriate stolen funds easier and more effectively than any other Nigerian alive. Since, like Jack Bauer in the popular TV Series, 24, he already has a reputation that makes him larger than life and somewhat dreaded, Ribadu can cut deals to have our stolen wealth returned silently and without prosecution through the smart application of the judicial instrument of plea bargains. Many people who have unjustly enriched themselves will be willing to part with a percentage of their wealth in exchange for an iron-clad perpetual immunity against further prosecution, backed by the federal government of the federal republic of Nigeria. In this way, trillions of naira can be recovered and, with a none-disclosure clause in these deals, ordinary Nigerians need not know the individuals repatriating the funds. Besides, the fear of Ribadu has the power to increase the opportunity cost of corruption as many politicians will not know the strategy he may be deploying to nail them and may be immobilized by this uncertainty. As a master of the game, Ribadu once set up a former IG and a former Senate president in a manner that reveals the deep intelligence he carries within him, which may not be correctly perceived by a casual look at his small head.

Suitability (2):
Whatever he may be today, Nuhu Ribadu is, first and foremost, a policeman. For the benefit of those who do not know, a policeman is not only a law officer but also a security officer. With the current challenges Nigeria is facing, Nuhu Ribadu will bring to the Presidency the personal experience needed to make decisions that may make a difference in the battle against Boko Haram insurgents. For now, with two ****** civilians in charge, there is absolutely no military flavour in decision making. Nuhu Ribadu can change this situation.

Unintended Positive Consequences
R. Kelly released an album some years ago titled “The Best of Both Worlds.” To me, it seems that a Ribadu Vice Presidency will allow us experience the best of both worlds – PDP hegemony plus APC efficiency.

Political Masterstroke?
In terms of integrity, Ribadu is like General Buhari without the baggage of General Buhari’s credentials as a former dictator, his alleged religious bigotry (whether true or false), his age disadvantage, his record of press censorship, and the colour of fundamentalism on his personality, which nothing seems to be able to erase. Besides, not many Nigerians who will vote can clearly remember General Buhari’s administration. Buhari was Head of State about 30 years ago and memories of young voters will be hard pressed to remember what he did right. But Ribadu’s case is still fresh. Again, Ribadu, like Buhari, is Fulani, he is a Moslem, and he is from the North. Who knows but that he may be able to reign in the rampaging Fulani herdsmen causing havoc in the Middle Belt and also deal a decisively and brutal blow to Boko Haram, without the fear of criticisms like genocide and partiality, which is sometimes thrown at President Jonathan. Nigerians will know that it is Mallam Nuhu Ribadu that is coordinating the nation’s security and there will be no clear opportunity for detractors to play the ethno-religious card.

Willingness:
As a patriot who is able to rise above party sentiments and has actually done so at least once, it is my belief that, given the right conditions, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu may be willing to run as Vice President with President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. David Gates was George Bush’s Secretary of Defense; but that did not stop him from serving the Obama administration until after the capture of Osama Bin Laden. Nuhu Ribadu showed Nigerians that he has this kind of thinking when he agreed to be chairman of the committee set up to probe allegations of massive corruption in the petroleum industry, following the nationwide protests of January 2013. If he has done this before, he can do it again. He can, for patriotic reasons, choose to help a PDP government succeed since Nigerians will ultimately benefit.

Balance:
The other day, Obiora Iloh invited me to speak on his Sunday-Sunday live programme on Africa Independent Television, Frontline. I couldn’t help feeling like an expert because, although I was in Lagos, I was urgently requested to fly down to Abuja. Former South African President, Nelson Mandela, had just died and Obiora wanted me to do an analysis of his temperament and tell the world why Madiba acted the way he did while alive. Borrowing from this underserved reputation as an expert in temperament matters, I will state that we have a problem in the presidency. In my book, I made the bold assertion that, going by empirical evidence, a phlegmatic person was not natural a leader. I still stand by this. President Jonathan has a primarily phlegmatic temperament, which gets some help from his secondarily sanguine temperament. But in this matter, the Vice President is even worse. While I stand to be corrected, I think Vice President Namadi Sambo is probably a Phlegmatic-Melancholy. In terms of natural leadership, this temperament blend is not what you will recommend, especially for a country like Nigeria. As a caveat to this position, let me state that any individual, no matter his or her temperament, can succeed in leadership. So, Namadi Sambo can be a good leader any day, any time, just like Goodluck Jonathan. It’s just that, like a 5-ft tall basketball player, there has to be a strategy to compensate for the natural disadvantage temperament imposes. The Nigerian Presidency needs a choleric fire and Mallam Nuhu Ribadu’s choleric temperament will do well to shore up our current somber combo of Goodluck and Sambo.

Of course, the question is whether Nuhu Ribadu will accept such an offer and whether Architect Namadi Sambo will acquiesce, if faced with such a situation. A third question is whether President Jonathan will even consider such a thing. Last time I checked, President Jonathan was rebuffing Baba Iyabo’s suggestion to dump his loyal Vice for Governor Sule Lamido of Adamawa State.
Methinks a Jonathan/Ribadu ticket will be formidable and I am neither an APC nor a PDP apologist; just a patriot on steroids. In guarding his reputation against stain, Nuhu Ribadu may give the President conditions for accepting to run as his Vice President, such as total non-interference in the war against corruption with the consequence of immediate resignation if breached; opportunity to work even beyond constitutional requirements to add value to the anti-insurgency war; and, also, that President Jonathan will not attempt to enrich himself from the public purse so as not to bring conflict of interest into the matter.

As the Englishman says, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

What do you think?

 

 

Comments

comments

  • H. Amure

    I fervently agree with the author-Dauda Joseph. I think Mallam Nuhu Ribadu has a unique personality. He is a man of integrity; a man of his words and very courageous too. Nigeria needs a brave president who can take away the perennial problem of corruption. For me, Nuhu Ribadu is one of the very few politicians who can take Nigeria to its eldorado; and we need this at full pelt.

  • I can’t fault your thesis. Your dubbing the Jonathan/Sambo liaison as a sombre combo is truly insightful. The Presidency needs a genuine fire-breather. And a fearless warrior who has no qualms deploying guerrilla stratagem. All these on the proviso they can achieve a chemistry that won’t explode in our already battered and deformed faces like the Obasanjo/Atiku mismatch. One last thing: Ribadu will have to be dumb four days of every week. I’m looking forward to a VP I can accuse of doing too much; not talking too much.

  • There are two fundamental flaws in your ‘thesis’: First, you overstate the powers of the office of the VP. In Nigeria, the VP is only a mere errant boy of the president. He does the bidding of the C-in-C. If the president doesn’t want to fight corruption, there’s nothing the VP can do about it. Even if Ribabu were to be VP to Jonathan, he has no powers of his own to fight corruption with the kind of vigour and valour you fantasize unless so instructed by his boss. Second, you’re probably wrong about VP Namadi Sambo’s temperament. He may not be the “Phlegmatic-Melanchol[c]” you present him as. Some of his contemporaries in school in ABU & the defunct Alhudahuda Secondary School Zaria, give a different testament. ‘Escape’ as he was popularly known, is said to be an hyperactive youth, an occasional truant and a rascal of sorts. He was popular with his mates and was reported to be in the forefront of all sorts of mischief in school. He is also rumoured to have been a member of the Keggites (Palm Wine Club) in ABU. Some even wonder if he wasn’t a member of Soyinka’s Pyrates Fraternity in his university days. Some of his contemporaries say he is a sly strategists. If the testimony of the VP’s contemporaries is anything to go by, the character traits mentioned above hardly qualifies him to be a “Phlegmatic-Melanchol[c]” as you asserted. If these two key assumptions are the fulcrum of this thesis, what then shall we conclude? Let me try: (i)That Ribadu may not escape the curse of Nigerian lame duck VPs. He’ll be frustrated by the impotence of his office, if indeed he has it in him to bring to reality your fairytale rendition of him. We should however reserve final judgement on him until he wins the Adamawa State Gubernatorial elections and completes his term in office. (ii)That VP Sambo is probably a master of the 44 Laws of Power and is just bidding his time until he becomes Numero Uno, then he’ll bare his fangs.

  • Obi

    You make a good case for possibility of progressive politics/ leadership. But like you stated, would the current composition allow a change in the institution for the better? What we need is ego aside for progress.

  • Elvis

    I do not believe in or subscribe to a Jonathan Presidency in the first place. My opinion (and from all indications) is that he does not have a quarter of what it takes to lead this nation. And that leaves the idea of a Ribadu Vice Presidency without a foundation as far as this piece is concerned. Besides Ribadu is someone I am yet to be convinced of his suitability for a position of such magnitude. I find the analysis of the temperaments of the President and his vice quite apt and interesting. Nice piece.