As news went viral that former ACN (Now APC) presidential candidate has dumped the so-called progressive party for the often declared sinister PDP, the national political space went agog. For many of his loyalists, it was a blue day murder, a rape of morals and a betrayal of the principles that they claim Nuhu Ribadu believe in. In his article titled ‘Nuhu Ribadu and the Rest of Us’, Dele Momodu laid bare the hurt that must be felt by his many supporters. He lamented ‘Politics have destroyed too many of our finest brands…a man of Nuhu’s caliber would now have to bow to gods with feet of clay or get hacked down to miniature size.’ Momodu’s epistle was one in a litany of commentaries that decried the decision of the former crime fighter and mourn at the new marriage, as if to say flirting was ever a new word in such marriage.
So much have been suggested as to what demons must have led Ribadu to dine with the party he has so associated with evil in the past. A school of reasoning is of the opinion that this might be a ploy in the grand scheme of the APC to infiltrate the PDP ranks, and wreck havoc. Their thinking is that if Ribadu succeeds in the PDP, it will be a launching pad for APC and the Northern elite to then bite the PDP in the long run that is with the assumption that Ribadu will then forsake the PDP to his first love. In the minds of those that hold this rational, no one is more skilled and poise to carry out this plot, than a man like Nuhu Ribadu. However, the other school of thought differs. For them, Ribadu is simply a fiercely ambitious man who will trample upon principles and break hearts to achieve his dream. With the luxury of relative youth on his side, this school of thought is convinced that this was an obvious story of a man seeking power by all means.
While there is some rational to the two schools of thought, for the political neutrals, Ribadu’s action was simply a great shame, for a man so highly referred as a beacon of principles and ideology. It is to this thought, I wonder. People make it sound like the APC which he left, is a party of saints and men of high principles. Sadly, this is far from the reality. It is worth mentioning that the seemingly moral standing and sentiments that makes the APC more appealing to the average Nigerian, is due mainly to the fact that the alternative, PDP, is a peerless evil. For those of us that have not been too gullible in the face of these recent sub-plots to 2015, we can surely see that the APC clearly thrives on PDP’s failure, without it being able to clearly define what it has to offer Nigerians. If PDP is renowned for electoral malpractices and lack of internal democratic processes, the APC is no exception. The same national decay in the PDP is prevalent in the APC, albeit, at different variance and forms. Thus, all those that claim that Ribadu betrayed principles will want to check again. What principles? Our political parties are not built on principles and ideologies. Moreover, it is a season of political prostitution, retargeting, political scheming and positioning for maximum impact. Perhaps, Ribadu was only doing this. He might be ambitious, but when did that become a bad thing? It is sickening that when people like Rotimi Amaechi are rumored to abhor presidential ambition, we treat them with disdain and contempt, as if this is an acrimonious ambition to have. Perhaps, our basterdized rational is ‘Why should he want to be president, when his brother is there already. It is betrayal.’ Little wonder our politics is still at its teething and elementary level.
However, the trouble for Ribadu is what might be, in his new political voyage. We know that his first port of call will be to win the PDP primaries to earn the right to fly the party’s flag in the upcoming governorship election in Adamawa state. Such battle will never be easy. His name might be the most recognizable among the other candidates with same goal, yet, he needs to still fight some vehement detractors within and outside the party. Many believe and rightly so, that the PDP is wise (If wisdom is the word) enough to know the underlying motives if ever he carries some, of Ribadu’s latest political move. For some of the PDP stalwarts, Ribadu is a man to be handled with caution. His antecedents suggest that he might be too hot to handle. They believe that trust is not a word to be associated with him. In sum, he might have an agenda. And even if he does, who doesn’t?
Perhaps, the greater danger for Ribadu is this: What if his PDP sojourn ends in doom. As one commentator remarked: ‘While it is always easy to move from the right to the left, it is not usually simple to move from left to right.’ What if this adventure ends up being a charade? The editor-in-chief of ThisDay newspaper, Simon Kolawole, in concluding his beautiful piece titled, ‘The trouble with Nuhu Ribadu’ wrote ‘A humorist once said this about relationships “Love is ideal, marriage is real. Any confusion of the two shall never go unpunished” That is the trouble. If the PDP adventure turns out well for Ribadu, he could be an Oshiomhole. If not, the ridicule will be unbearable.’
While I largely agree with the foregoing, somewhere in my left hand column, I think that irrespective of the ridicule that might be if this doesn’t go well for Nuhu Ribadu, he will simply move on. I have never known dignity and reverence to be associated with our politicians, and I somehow think this is a win-win, at least in Ribadu’s mind.