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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Discourse 317: Why Buhari Should Concede to Ribadu

Discourse 317
By Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde

Why Buhari Should Concede to Ribadu

I present my esteemed readers this essay whose exceptional length I am guilty bound to acknowledge at its debut, but whose importance I will leave the impartial mind to acknowledge. I implore my readers to endure the length and carefully consider the logic of its arguments with an open mind.

The presidential primaries are over and the candidates are now known. On the one hand is the PDP and its candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan. On the other are three main opposition parties' candidate of ANPP, CPC, ACN, SDMP, NCP and NTP, Ibrahim Shekarau, Muhammadu Buhari and Nuhu Ribadu, Pat Utomi, Dele Momudu and John Dava respectively.

It can hardly be denied that the PDP and its candidate represent the unfortunate status quo. There is no need to argue on this. Whoever wants to squander his hope can argue otherwise. He can join the PDP train and I wish him a safe journey.

The opposition candidates are expected to offer change. But they are many, at least. They do not stand the least chance of defeating the notorious PDP behemoth unless they join hands and support one person. This is what informed the failed attempt of the opposition to merge into one party. The option of alliance, however, remains open and it seems that its main focus is between the ACN, which has the support and understanding of other parties like APGA and Labour Party on the one hand, and CPC on the other. One of their candidates, Buhari or Ribadu, is expected to step-down for the other.

The choice of who should step down for the other has remained a contentious matter. The general perception of the result is seen in exclusive terms: He that steps down has lost to the other who is seen as more superior, more popular, more favorably disposed to the electorate, more honest, and so on. He is the winner; the other loser. In this writing, I would like to deviate from this pedestrian thinking and suggest something that is different, where there will be no loser but winners on terms of both the candidates and the future prosperity of this country. I will try in the following paragraphs to put forward the premises of the argument that is inevitably lengthy.

First, perception is important. I will start with how I view the two candidates, Buhari and Ribadu. I see them as having similar orientation and record. They are like two brothers; one senior, the other junior. What puts both on the same pedestal before me is their records. Both are among the four people who have fought corruption in this country, the other two being the late Murtala and Idiagbon. I do not think any objective person will disagree with this. The record of my mentor Buhari on corruption is known and does not require any elaboration here. That of Ribadu, however, needs some clarification and emphasis. And to this I will now turn my attention for some moments.

Ribadu has fought corruption as EFCC Chairman, in addition to his less known similar roles as a police prosecutor. The gap which his absence created is acknowledged even beyond the shores of Nigeria. To appreciate his success, we need to factor in the circumstance in which he operates, especially if we relate him with Buhari. While Buhari fought against corruption as a military head of state with full powers of state during a period that had no existing constitution, Ribadu served under a constitutional government that accorded citizens freedoms of various kinds. Many criminals exploited those provisions through the courts whose judges were ready to grant orders that would frustrate their prosecution. We were witness to issuance of such orders and now the anti-corruption prince, as I called him in those days, had to navigate his way to success in spite of them.

More importantly, however, is the civilian dictator under whom he served and to whom he must refer cases for approval by law before he prosecute them. Despite this handicap, Ribadu prosecuted hundreds of cases starting with the then rampant '419' that earned a very bad reputation for Nigeria until he reached the high and mighty like governors and his very boss, former Inspector General of Police, Tafa Balogun. We have seen thousands of police officers, army generals and jurists. Yet, few have surpassed Ribadu in his feat against corruption. If we are sincere, we will not find it difficult to place him in the league of those who fought corruption in this country.

One can just imagine what the fate of most of our governors would have been had Ribadu served as a head of state in a regime that is not encumbered with constitutional impediments like immunity and citizen's right. With an eye into the future one can as well imagine what he can achieve as a President in whose hand is entrusted not only the power of prosecution but also the command of the state apparatus of coercion. No objective mind can down play the manifestation of his courage and the determination of his pursuit in confronting the difficulties he went through, the risks he took and the dangers he faced.

Of course Ribadu did not prosecute every corrupt person for the simple fact that only God would have done so. Some say, why did not he prosecute Obasanjo in particular? How could he do so when he needed the approval of Obasanjo to prosecute any case? He was smart enough to realize the limitations of his office and the almost infinite power of the dictatorial President. He left that task to those that would come after him or perhaps, when time would be more auspicious. Unfortunately, that time was not offered him by Obasanjo's successor. Had he tried to be foolish during Obasanjo, he would have earned our applause, but the dictator would have crushed him and his EFCC, making the nation lose everything. We still have not stopped lamenting the fall of Buhari in 1984, a fact attested by our now decade long fight for his return.

Like Buhari, This record is all Ribadu has. Fortunately it has been acknowledged by many people in this country. It explains his popularity among civil society groups, the local intelligentsia and the international community."

The second property which he shares with Buhari is that he restrained himself from becoming a do-as-I-say preacher. There are of course the normal baseless accusations, which we expect to be propagated by those he fought against. The most popular one is that he has property in Dubai, just as I still come across writers who say that Buhari being accused of stolen $2.7 billion when he was the federal commissioner for petroleum in 1977! I laugh because I can claim that I know how dry the pocket of my mentor is. Buhari went to the primaries of 2003 with only N40,000 in his pocket.

The same thing with Ribadu. Can we compare him with any of Obasanjo's ministers though he has occupied a position that would have accorded him billions. One would need to meet him, see him and speak to him in order to appreciate this. But as the late Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman would say, anyone who sets out to fight corruption must be ready to face corruption because it will fight back. If Ribadu had anything like that, the Yaradua administration would have exposed him because it had the means to prove it and the power to prosecute him. It is in the absence of such evidence that it went for his persecution, including the despicable act of removing him and his family from the convocation hall of National Institite for Policy and Strategic Studies.

I will stop here and insert an email which reached me as I was editing this article and which I consider appropriate. It was written and sent to a friend by one Mr. Favour Afolabi, a lawyer from Lagos:

"While reviewing Ribadu, please remember that no one has ever accused the gentleman of collecting bribe! That is amazing in a country like Nigeria. While I was on a case at EFCC, one of his staff who was in the room the day he called his team to see the $15m cash that Ibori brought to him. The staff told me how till he dies it would be difficult to find someone else that he respects more than Ribadu. He described how the whole room were looking at Ribadu like he was a mad man. How could he be returning such monies meant for him as a person to the government coffers?

"It's IMPOSSIBLE for anyone to sell me that story of selective justice. What about no justice at all? EFCC despite all its flaws remains one of the things that generations to come would come to "fear" whenever they intend to behave funny; it has come to stay as an institution that has global acclaim; one that many third world countries dealing with corruption have not been able to rival; one that was built by Ribadu."

All I have attempted so far is to argue that Nuhu Ribadu too has a record of gallantly fighting corruption like Buhari though the circumstance and capacity under which each of them served are different. I have no doubt that Buhari himself, as a fair person, even in the competitive setting of this moment, would anytime anywhere attest to the anti-corruption record of Ribadu, something which, pitifully, many who support him cannot.

The next thing is to dismiss the accusation that I am equating Ribadu with Buhari, an accusation which some have labelled against me when I wrote my piece titled 2011: Jonathan, Buhari and Ribadu. Equality often does not lead to justice. In this case it is irrelevant. Though Ribadu is known, his goodwill does not match that of Buhari. He will be ready to confess this anywhere, I believe. But that does not mean that his record is any lesser. There are three reasons for this.

One, Buhari has the advantage of being a bigger celebrity by virtue of the higher office he occupied. Two, his memory has fossilized in our psyche given that his record has remained in our brains for almost twenty years before the arrival of Ribadu. Thirdly, Buhari joined politics before Ribadu and he did so especially at a time when the nation was under one of our most corrupt dictators. In contrast, Ribadu until recently was a public servant. It is not surprising therefore that Buhari has more goodwill especially among the masses than Ribadu.

So if we cannot base our argument on differentiating the two in terms of popularity, on what then can we successively persuade Buhari to concede the ticket to Nuhu? The answer, ironically, lies mainly in the goodwill argument we mentioned above.

Buhari has built a goodwill in this country which few, if any, can match. This goodwill is purely the product of his personality, not his handsome face or tall figure. Around this very rare personality have for many years rallied people whose dream of fighting corruption is not beclouded by mundane primordial considerations. What will be required to build a similar goodwill will be enormous in time, chance and effort. If we miss him today, I am afraid to say, we will miss that goodwill because, to my knowledge, he has not so far made any plan to share it or transfer it to someone. All avenues for doing so proved abortive or blocked in the past.

Tunde Idiagbon would have been one person who would have easily shared it with him today, undoubtedly. But Tunde died in 1999, just as the civilian administration was taking off. Even if he were alive, Tunde, the mentor of Ribadu, would not have been interested in politics. But he would have been in a better position to broker a deal between the two.

Buhari would have also transferred it to the governors of his former party, the ANPP, had any of them proved to be equally interested in transparency. Unfortunately, none of them could live to his expectations. Shekarau would have been one in his own right, but the unfortunate differences that developed between the two leaves no love lost between them.

Now, we have the golden opportunity for him to do so in a manner that will immortalize his name. Here is someone with the same traits like his, twenty years younger than him but matured enough by all Nigerian standards to lead, given the age records of most previous leaders. He is older and has served the nation longer than most of them as at when they came to office. The condition for the transfer is also as ripe as the circumstance is suitable. Ordinarily, Buhari would have invited Ribadu to join politics even without the latter indicating any interest. That is why I am not surprised to learn that when he heard Ribadu was aspiring for the presidency, he encouraged him after acknowledging his record in fighting corruption. When this is considered in addition to their previous linkages, we will happily realize that there seems to be more ground in the minds of the two for concession than there is for the desire of their parties to align.

The logical question that would be asked here is: why would not the junior come and follow the senior, deputizing for him or serving under him as he served under Obasanjo? This is where it is necessary to bring in other elements of the argument.

If Ribadu and his party will concede the ticket to Buhari and CPC, the benefit is just that Buhari again is running as a candidate and there is every chance of their opponents hoodwinking the south into believing that this is a northern affair. This may lead the south to rally around Jonathan.

Two, Buhari would then be vying to only occupy a seat which he occupied more than twenty five years ago with nothing new but new challenges; it is the same goal he has unsuccessfully attempted twice before. The possible outcomes here are three.

One, in line of the past two attempts, he loses the elections, especially when the south rallies behind Jonathan and the election is rigged as expected. This will be one sad outcome because hardly would the alliance opportunity present itself again in future between southern parties and a northern one; and even if it does, I doubt if Buhari, given his then age of 74, will be interested in contesting for the fourth time or able to convince Nigerians of possessing the strength to withstand the exacting rigor of transforming Nigeria into a transparent nation.

Two, if he wins the elections, the risk is even higher to him personally and to the aspirations of the nation generally. He may succeed or fail in his attempt to transform the country. If he succeeds in transforming Nigeria, it will be difficult for anyone to step into his shoes because the goodwill differential will just be too big. But many would readily argue with plausible reason that success in transforming the country by Buhari cannot be guaranteed. So it is important that we do not become blinded by our wish. So let us consider also the third possibility, that of failure.

The failure of Buhari to transform Nigeria meaningfully will be one of the most disastrous things that would happen to this country. It will wipe out any sign of hope and destroy any lingering aspiration. We have fired our last shot, the looters would gladly say. You see Nigeria cannot be salvaged, they will argue. Depending on the magnitude of that failure, as it is with the nature of man, Nigerians will start to develop a nostalgia for PDP days just as the Children of Israel longed for Egypt after their rescue from Pharaoh. Buhari himself would then not live any longer as a happy person. His failure will smash all his past record. God forbid.

I am compelled by two things to entertain the fear of his failure should he win the Presidency. One, age is not on his side, right now. Few people in history were able to transform their countries from the precipice at the advanced age of 70 and beyond. None of us can repeat at 70 somethings he did at 42. We see it even in the manner we manage our homes. We saw our parents become less and less thorough with age such that hardly did our distant juniors attain the home training we received. This is not a shortcoming on their side, may God shower his mercy on them, but an outcome of natural law. With advanced age, the ability of the body to replace aging cells with new ones of equal vigor declines; organs become weaker; and the body would require rest more than it will tolerate rigour. The result is a decline in achievement which means reduced efficiency and poor performance.

The heart, which philosophers describe as ever young, defies this reality and continue to exact the body with onerous responsibilities. It is left to the prudent mind to disobey it by realizing the declining potential of the body and behaving accordingly. The famous Shata at around 70, just about five years before his death, confessed to his friend Wada Nas the effect of aging on his output. He said: "Wada, cikin nan akwai waka, amma tsufa ta zo", meaning, "I have many unsung songs but for old age." This is the epitome of both wisdom and valour. Thus the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was reported saying, "God bless his servant who knows his capacity and operated within it."

So the Buhari we know today is certainly not the same as the youth who came to power in 1984. The latter exists only in our memory and wishes. Nobody could be physiologically and psychologically the same person after thirty years; and both are important ingredients of leadership especially at 70. This is the plain truth. This brings us to the second reason for my pessimism. It explains why as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the CPC he is finding it difficult to make the party live to our expectation. Some people say the same problems exist in other parties. But I would contend that if that is the case, why form the CPC then because Buhari would have as well joined the PDP if he cannot found a party that is different from others. If he were the Buhari of 42, he would have had the required strength to checkmate so many things and make the party really different from other parties. Those who are dissatisfied with him should be fair enough to ascribe to this factor any shortcoming they might have noticed in the conduct of the CPC. He has to rely on others who, unfortunately, are widely accused of not living to his principle.

I have heard many people foresee that if Buhari becomes the President the same CPC trend will manifest itself in the manner he will manage the affairs of the nation. I am not in a position to dispute them since I cannot guarantee the nature of the people that will work with him as ministers, advisers and heads of government agencies. I do not see many around him now and I doubt if there are some out there waiting to be called to service if they cannot offer their services to him during this hour of need. What I can assure Nigerians is that if he succeeds many would rush to him in a Tsunami that will not allow him the time to separate the chaff from the grain. The result of that situation will be disastrous.

The argument of age here is of the scientific genre, very different from the opportunistic "new breed" concept that has helped to destroy this country in the past two decades. I am not advocating Ribadu simply because he is younger but because he is young, matured, sufficiently experienced and similar to Buhari in character. Otherwise, I would have simply advocated the position to be given to Dr. Tilde!

But even if Buhari has remained as he was in 1984, the factor of time would create some problems for him. Our big brother may not be used to the sophistication of today as he was used to that of the seventies and eighties. The crooks he knew in 1984 have been supplanted by more sophisticated and merciless ones of the 21st century. This is not to mention the difference of the two systems - military administration and democracy - a line along which many have argued before me.

We are now in a better position to present the advantages of Buhari conceding the opposition ticket to Ribadu. One, the nation will not lose anything if he does so. In fact, it stands to benefit more because of the synergy that will allow the younger Ribadu to tap from the experience of his elder. The elderly advisory role is what would fit Buhari more than the exacting role of the President. The experience of the two will thus be organically fused, improved upon and handed over to future leaders thereby ensuring continuity, that is hoping that my friend Ribadu will open up opportunities to many young ones from various parts of the country among whom he will identify and elevate the promising. Nothing could be more beautiful than this.

Also, the failure of Ribadu during the election would have less consequences than that of Buhari because he will have more opportunities to attempt later than would Buhari. The damage of demystification as well as the chances of regime failure due to age or suitability would also be much lesser since Ribadu's experience in fighting corruption is almost up to date.

However, notwithstanding the importance of the above advantages, I am more fascinated with the beauty of the goodwill argument. Endorsing Ribadu would transfer the enormous goodwill of Buhari to someone who would keep it alive for many more years to come, thus saving the nation the energy of cultivating someone separately. Buhari must not die with his goodwill, in short. Even if we do not succeed this time ousting the corrupt regime at the centre and Buhari is not around to compete in the next elections, Ribadu can continue with the blessings he accords him now through the endorsement. The talakawa who now shout his slogans would be assured of a trustworthy successor.

More important than my fascination with the goodwill doctrine is the contribution that a Buhari concession will make to the political stability of this country. It will be the first time the northern masses would vote for a party with roots in the southwest because the southwest has also fielded a northern candidate also for the first time. And if a government is formed, it will be a government headed by a northerner under a ruling party that is largely southwestern. The two most contentious opposites in Nigerian politics would finally merge. The benefits in terms of political stability are obvious.

Finally there comes the humorous cultural argument of an elder with his junior brother who were presented with a food ration of one person, which in the case of an office is not a cake that could be shared. The elder is expected in all cultures to concede the meal to the younger one. And if they were to eat from the same plate, he would not scramble with the younger brother over the last morsel; he would concede it to him. Only then can he proudly walk with his shoulders high because of the altruism he exhibited. But if the elder brother would appropriate the only available ration to himself or squabble with the junior over the last portion of the meal then his estimation as a fair person will be greatly severed. What if it were a task to be undertaken? The able young is naturally expected to come forward and carry it out on behalf and to the delight of his elder.

These are the reasons why I strongly feel that Buhari should concede the ticket to Ribadu. I will not be surprised if the man on the street finds these reasons complex for his understanding, just as I will not be surprised if people with his mindset among the elite attack me for advancing them. I will leave such minds with the lazy stereotype arguments that Ribadu has served under Obasanjo (just as Buhari served under Abacha) or he is now sent by the former dictator and Jonathan to divide northern votes. The North can disprove Obasanjo by rallying around Ribadu with the approval of Buhari and pulling the votes of the progresssive south to an electoral success. Let Obasanjo attempt to test the resolve of a Ribadu president.

This campaign of smearing Ribadu among gullible Northerners which some elders are sponsoring is self-destructive to the country and to the North in particular. These youths may be destroying an asset that would be handy tomorrow. How many Ribadus do we have among the Nigerian elite? Those behind these campaigns do not possess half the record of Ribadu in transparency when they were in public service. After all, they were the architects of PDP, of its zoning principle, of shoving Obasanjo to power, etc. Why would they now use us, whom they oppressed, against Ribadu? They should focus on mediating talks between him and Buhari, not making one their scapegoat.

As a defense, I must say that the mettle of a writer does not lie with the popular but with the courage to differ from it whenever the need arises, for writing will be of no use if it will only parrot street views that it is supposed to guide and moderate. And no nation will advance beyond its present if its elite cannot think beyond the common regardless of the condemnation that might visit them.

I therefore intended my argument for the refined mind that would put reason before sentiment and has the courage to abandon the conventional for the novel that would preserve the good in the present, guarantee better opportunities in the future and lessen the chances of susceptibility to damage or exposure to risk. It is this refined mind that I hereby task with the burden of understanding my thesis and, thereafter, convincing the common minds within his reach using the simpler language for which I readily concede that I am not sufficiently gifted to display.

17 January, 2011


Adamu Dada said...

Dear Dr. Tilde,
No doubt, corruption walks shoulder high around the floored and writhing body of the Nigerian nation, but the plethora of problems bedeviling Nigeria is beyond the grasp of an adventurous one man show. Corruption is only an accomplice to the cabal of rogues that floored Nigeria.
To stand the nation on its feet again, one would think that wisdom rather than strength would take the day. The old and wise being supported by the concerted effort of a selected team of the young and bold.

Abuufurqaan said...

The article is definitely not for the common minds on streets of Katsina, Kano, etc, shouting 'sai general', nor for any blog scavenger looking for any article to comment on; it's for those who can reason and be able to project into the future. Dr., you have said it and may Allaah subhaanahu Wa taa'la make it a reality if it will be the best for Nigerians.
I will suggest this be translatedand published in Hausa language for our brothers in the north that may not be able to read English.

Kazeeem O Muraina

Anonymous said...

Please i do not agree with this Article at all LET BUHARI RULE NIGERIA, Ribadu should be given the EFCC and ICPC in one to control under Buhari

ds said...

This is a very good analysis keep it up Dr. Tilde although I am for Buhari but still if Buhari and Ribadu will marge that will have been better. I hope Buhari will step down and handover the fleg to Ribadu and let Ribadu use both blueprint of their proposed method of running the govt if won. We always pray to God to serve us from this useless ruling party PDP.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr Tilde,
In fact from what you have said I agree with you but less give Gen Buhari This chance to rule for one term while Ribadu can took over next term.
my regard.

A. Zubairu said...

Dear Dr. Tilde,
May the Almighty Allah continue to enhance your wisdom for the benefit of all and sundry.

My hunmble and sincere prayers are that: -

Allah SWT should chose the best of the two candidates for the country, and make that choice beneficial to all Nigerian.

And that such a choice should be the reason for moving the country forward by way of improving the standard of living of its citizenry,fight corruption in all its ramifications and the cabal to a stand still.

Abubakar MS said...

If Buhari and supports will agree with this position, then certainly we hope to see light at the end of the tunnel. However, I'm sure with the type of mindset I observe, Buhari may not concede or compromise position.......except maybe if something divine happens.

dandugaje said...

To my mind i feel 4 years will not take anything out of Ribadu if Buhari is supported to debunk the perception that even the political might which is the last of what the north has to prove it relevance is lost to the south-west.This is all Obasonjo needed to tell the north how irrelevant it had become in the country.Therefore, Ribadu taking a 4years course from a Buhari presidency will only enhance a smooth transition of the good will code you talked about.Also Dr,the rate at which you bring up options within the short span of time available for assimilation and transmission may hinder the spread of the message and possibly confuse the street people.

H A KAROFI said...

This is surely a reflective article, audaciuos in content and context and brave in consistency. However, just as it is not for people on the streets of Kano, Sokoto or Katsina to digest, politics is equally not about bravery or audacity of bloggers, it is about popularity, experience and ability for mass movement which Buhari has over Ribadu. In the interest of reason, nationalism and change we must realize any reliable challenger from the ACN/CPC alliance must be a ticket that attracts massive followership from the north and south west and not some newspaper figures OR BLOGGERS whose followership are mostly the "elites" 90% of whom will never see the inside of polling units throughout the elections. Please Dr, elections are fought not on blogs, but on ballot boxes so allow the ACN/CPC alliance to materialize or we tag you as an agent of destabilisation, finish.

Anonymous said...

with ideas, vision and courage which i think it is Ribadu's common traits. Ribadu can make a very good Prasident. Bravo DR

Dr. said...

Very well packaged . I do hope that both parties will come to the table and resolve their differences so as to form a strong alliance with other parties and wage a common "war " against this cabal called p d p It is a battle that has to be won from all fronts and at all cost All progressives must join forces together to fight this common enemy of progress as represented by p d p

Nura Daura said...

Dr. Tilde, you will agree with me that this article is more objective than the former one on Buhari and Ribadu.
For me, my major concern is the need for the merger between the two with one of them conceding to the other. Whoever emerges as a result of this will definitely have the support and endorsement of the other.

I hope and pray that this allience works as it stands the only way of getting rid of the PDP and its failures.

Cornelius Hamelberg said...

Absolutely brilliant!

Reason said...

Tilde, you have improved your tone on Buhari, which is good. But you generally dont seem to expect much of your readers, because there is nothing complex in this write up. It is pretty straight forward. There is also no reason to be so defensive. Just present your case and allow people to use thier minds freely. The notion that anyone who disagrees with your thesis is not refined is certainly uncalled for.
I presume previous resistence from your readers to subtle negative comments on Buhari have not gone unnoticed by you and hence your preamble and conclusion.
You have tried, but not enough to convince me. Your reasons are rather too theoretical and cannot stand good scrutiny.
Anyway, we love both Buhari and Ribadu. If Buhari wants to rule, we will support him ahead of Ribadu because he is a much better candidate overall. If Buhari tells us to vote Ribadu, we will vote Ribadu. If Buhari decides not to contest at all, we will support Ribadu.

BELLO said...


Ashiru Hamza said...

While I applaud this motion, I must state I read this piece full of nostalgia and the agony of the wasted past. I never imagine how time fly just as reading this piece. Unfortunately Tilde, only few could reason with you about Ribadu's innocence. Should that be possible, the advocacy you put forward will certainly be a panacea to our present predicament. Unfortunately too, the concession is appearing too late not in the context of political picture, but in first convincing people see the rational of the motion. Charlatans succeeded in destroying the formative hopes of a common man.

Anonymous said...

Salam Dr.,
Yes this article is for the mature minds with rational thinking and non sentimental judgement.
Corruption is the Virus in our system and your analysis is not a campaign but an exploration into what will be of longlasting benefit to the country. some readers cannot see beyond April elections, its a pity. Given the parameters you have considered, it is safer and more reassuring for Buhari to conceed,that will also neutralise the northern elements thinking PDP is destined to rule and therefore are into it hook and crook. I believe he(Buhari) will do so as the nationalist I know in him and especially if he sees this article, just as Ribadu will if the chances favours Buhari. I advise readers to always drop their mindset and look at the substance in a write up. All this is about a better Nigeria.
B U Getso.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr,am fascinated by your article,lest we forget the ACN now has it power base in South West which would have being impossible when the dictator was the president from 1999-2008.I expected you to touch on that aspect,this is because the south west joint the PDP in order to show 'support' for one of their own unfortunately this was done in civil rule not in a democratic rule.It should be remembered that Buhari has more experience and better knowledge the Nigerians of international politics which to my mind what Nigerian wants now in order to have better the polity and not to go back to the drawing board or even swim into confusion.

Manzon Ayuba

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr Tilde. Thank you for your thought provoking & insightful scenarios of the inevitable options open to Nigerians if the PDP "monster" is to be beheaded. I think that to ensure high probability of success the alliance or coalition should cover the entire length and breadth of Nigeria and ofcourse a broad spectrum of the citizenry. Therefore it should include other opposition parties like ANPP, NCP, SDMP, NTP, KOWA etc.
You have no doubt made brilliant arguments and I agree with your reasoning intoto. Gen Buhari should show exemplary leadership, altruism and above all an extraordinary act of patriotism by not only conceding to Ribadu but by calling on all the other opposition parties and ofcourse his teeming supporters to support Ribadu.If that is done, Ribadu's hands will be further strengthened to provide visionary, energetic, corruption free and purposeful leadership that will make our country great again.
You must however, remember that a tree cannot make a forest. So Ribadu must assemble a team of men and women of integrity and exceptional skills to work with him. If he is to rid this country of corruption, he must lead by example and ensure his team and all other public officers do the same.
What about the 36 States and 774Local Governments? What about the National and State Assemblies? We also need to ensure that honest and competent persons are elected this time around. Not the kind that award to themselves "jumbo salaries and allowances" or coner for themselves "lion share of the public budget".
I believe that Nigerians do not have a criteria for determining who can and should be trusted with leadership. For example, if you look at the outcomes of some of the just concluded party primaries you will see some corrupt and incompetent persons that, ordinarily, should not even be trusted with managing the feeding budget of their own households, but they have been elected. Infact, and very sadly too, some of them are hiding behind good people like Buhari in the hope of using his popularity to get in to office. This is very dangerous! This time around,our people must be told (and should enlightened by those who know) that they must look the behind the facade of good people like Buhari and to scrutinise all contestants on their own merit. We should develop a kind of "due diligence check list" with which to perform such "fit & proper tests". Pls lets us all contibute to this process. For those of us who are about 50 years old, if we don't get things right by 2015 then we should count ourselves as part of the failed generation of Nigerians, like our elder brothers and sadly our parents too.

Anonymous said...

Shocking! I have always considered Dr Aliyu Tilde as somebody I will listen to and take his comments very seriously like those of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. I sincerely hope I am wrong in feeling that in this article I am have not seen the Dr Tilde that I have always seen.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr,

Isn't bad thought at all, but this should be used as a last resort. And if and only if Ribadu will be loyal, able to be listening to our General advise, if it happens to be succeeded. May Allah choose the best for us, ameen.

Nasir Ghali.

Anonymous said...

This is really a brilliant, insightful & an article that is worthy of consideration by all lovers of democracy with anti-corruption crusade at their core values. Our nation will continue to wallow in under-development & our people will always wallow in abject poverty unless we arrest the current decay. I invite the Ciroma committee to work for Nigeria & with the trio of IBB, Atiku & Gusau swallow their sectional and group interests and pursue the advice given in Dr Tilde's incisive article as a clarion call to be pursued & achieved regardless of party affiliation. Let them act as the mediators to achieve this noble objective & history will engrave their names in Gold. by BMY

ELBINAWI said...

An intresting intelectual exercise that agitates minds.I voted for Gen.Buhari twice and it was a honor to me.There is no doubt that a section of the South is behind GEJ out of rancor and hate.And the North is agressively mobilising so this write-up came at no beter time.A person that spend somuch money just for primaries will do anything including ringing during elections.This son of a fisherman will use looted funds for his ends.
Your piece needs careful study and proper consideration raised.I am almost convince but it will intrest me if Mal.Adamu Adamu writes on the same topic.

Musa M Adamu said...

Though a very reflective piece, you are being arrogant to call thoughts contrary to yours as pedestrian thinking. In the Qur'an God enjoined us to argue in what is best (....Jaadilu blLati hiya ahsan). For sure the Dr will agree with me that arrogance is not the best. I will however commend you for the peice. It is one possible solution to the bane of Nigeria, PDP.

Anonymous said...

Until the opposition parties can come out with a consesus candidate the PDP will still dominate the country with their ineptitude leadership. There is no other OPTION. Our preferred options in the opposition parties should face this stack reality of forget about seizing POWER from the PDP. If they can not understand this basic truth, may be they are not a intelligent as we think they are. Rotimi Aborisade

Auwal Aliyu said...

I admire the courage of Dr. Tilde to tell us the truth in this article. Those of us who stand by the ideals of transperency and good governance which Buhari preaches, should understand that the ideology is the issue and not the personality. We, as a nation, have the capacity, with or without Buhari, to CHANGE our country to greatness. I believe we can do it.

Auwal Aliyu, Bauchi

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dr. Can you please explain why Jonnathan invited Ribado and pardoned him, and then he Ribado now fighting against him. Don't you think there is something behind Ribado's contest.


Excellent, you really said the truth and nothing but a truth. But i just hope you have the intention to discuss this issue with our great General Buhari personally , if you dont pls try and consider it

Anonymous said...

It will be very difficult to convince the average northerner that Ribadu is not being used by GEJ to weaken Buhari's popularity in the north by way of dividing the north along North East/North West dichotomy. How do you convince me that Ribadu is not consciously working for Jonathan?

Mohammed Usman Abubakar said...

Sallam, Dr. i quite agree with your opinion, but dont you think Buhari be more proactive than Ribado? because most of this political elite has one two way to press Ribado due to his commitement to he former mentos.
remind blessed
Muhammad Usman Abubakar

Kasim Gumel said...

It will be good if I start by admitting my been a Buhari supporter from the time of his military rein to the time of his commitments and aspiration in saving our country in a democratic dispensation. To be honest, the idea of Buhari conceding to Ribadu (with utmost hope and optimism) needs be seen and considered as an excellent one! However, acceptance of this new view point really requires critical thinking and reasoning as implied in this piece. This is really a food for thought and it appears to be a lasting solution for what bedevils us today and a way of sustaining Buhari's goodwill and corrupt-free and atruistic principles. I wish my mentor, Buhari, will have access to this article, read it and ponder over it critically. This is really nice Dr Tilde! Weldone!

"Remi Ogundiran, New York said...

Great and insightful piece, Dr. Tilde. The depth and substance of your argument made me want it to continue, not minding the length. The challenge we face as a nation are: where we are headed, who is the one to lead us there and how? If the elite and the myriad "agenda" setters can put aside sectional interests or individual biases/sentiments, we have a good chance this time to pull together to chart a new course as a nation. Without a scintilla of doubt, the person to charge with the onerous task is not Jonathan Goodluck (nice man, wrong leader!). The transparencty and dogged/fearless resolve to fight corruption (pretty much everything else will fall in place therafter) require tested people (Ribadu or Buhari). If reasonable forces could prevail and decent politicking succeeds, Nigeria has a chance with Ribadu's leadership...he understands how to wage contemporary warfare against the filthy moneybags. Let's pray in our respective mosques, churches, synagogues, shrines, etc., that Nigeria does not squander this unprecendented opportunity to elect a man that will serve and lead the country's rebirth, locally and internationally. Who needs the cosmetics of "rebranding" when we have opportunities to get it right? This is yet another one. Thanks, Dr. Tilde.

Abubakar said...

At 50 Nigeria should not experiment with the presidency. Is Dr sure will have a good sleep with Ribadu as president than Buhari? Dr if you read 2-3 of your write ups you see a smart way of your philosophical reallighment towards ACN from CPC. It happen over a short period. But we equally support who emerges out of the 2

saleh yamusa said...

well, i think you have a point. If one of them will concede to the other, they will have more chance of overthrowing the PDP. If they refuse an alliance, they will share the votes from the north, while Jonathan gets almost all the votes from the south, and also get some from the north with the help of the PDP governors. I hope Buhari will get to read your article, if you doubt so, pls send him a mail.

Anonymous said...

I hope many of us will give this article the attention it deserves; otherwise somebody will take us for a ride. For example, the main basis for urging Buhari to concede to Ribadu is simply because Buhari is older than Ribadu not that he has been found wanting in any quality needed for leadership. I can’t remember Dr Tilde bringing the issue of age against OBJ when he was looking for the aborted 3rd Term bid. Globally too, People like John McCain have contested election at such mature ages too. I think the truth like, somebody rightly pointed out in an earlier comment above, is that our learned Dr is probably playing a fast one on us. Be careful Dr, many of your readers are fairly educated enough to read in between the lines.

Anonymous said...

Dr. ur publications recently are based on dubious facts especially in relation to MR. BUhari. i stil dont get it why Ribadu ran away, if he has nothing to hide why would he have done so? such are logical facts that even a common man on the streets of kano, katsina or Adamawa will comprehend.

Habu said...

Dr,.there is no refind mind in Nigeria. If there are Buhari can use them to form an experienced govt. Is a good piece of PR for Ribadu but lacks merit.

Habu Mamman

Anonymous said...

Mallam,you seem to miss a point!The cabal in the PDP have planted surrogates arround Buhari and in the ranks of the oposition parties.I doubt the authenticity of Ribado's anti-curruption credentials considering the enormity of the curruption prevelent in the regime under which he served. Please recall, for instance, the bags of money offered to bribe members of the National Assembly and displayed on the floor of the Assembly. Moreover, the circumstances surrounding his slf exile and eventual "pardon" by President Jonathan is definately suspect.

Anonymous said...

It is a beautiful piece.I want to say that the same points you adduced for Buhari stepping down should be used for Ribadu.One,During reconciliation, it is not appropriate to loose any of your negotiating power.Using Ribadu when Buhari is around is like loosing one of our negotiating power.Giving the age of Buhari,I think he has this last chance while Ribadu can still wait because he is young.Ribadu can work under Buhari but Buhari cannot.

Anonymous said...

I am first offended by Dr Tilde's presumptuousness in ascribing complexity to an article I consider simplistic at best. It offends me that although you pander to the same pedestrian regional sentiment acceded to mostly by the same people whose intelligence you bring into question, you have in bad faith said they cannot understand your article.
Now to the merits or otherwise of the argument, what would it cost a Ribadu, whose experience I dare say is limited to one small aspect of governance (fighting crime) to get into the system in some other capacity perhaps as Minister or something else. How can you compare running the EFCC with running a humongous nation like Nigeria? Again, how can you assume that he will change the fortunes of Nigerians and assume that Buhari can't. What does Ribadu know about or complex economic situation. What Ribadu did, Buhari has done and more (and on a country wide scale).
Nigeria needs the doggedness of Buhari. Ribadu is the spoiler. He shouldve run for Governor or something. The EFCC was his biggest posting and really how big was the EFCC? Yes he went after a few governors (with backing from his boss). The EFCC wasn't even as big as a Ministry. Now you want to throw the entire country into his laps. No, it is this kind of quantum leap that creates arrogance in men.

Ibrahimjibiya said...

Why should a stooge be given the chance? Dr Tilde, this time around, your conscience is not clear and will never be clear as long as you hold prejudices and nurse hidden grievances while using your pen against The trusted man, your vision and wisdom will certainly be blurred by the power of justice, equity and fairness. This article is malignant to you and your people.Ribadu is certainly your choice, you have now turned your pen, blog and column into a campaign machinery for Ribadu; no wonder your lexicon, puns and names are mere panegyrics in favor of your star. Since you call GEJ a scion to Obasanjo, let you coin another lexical item and dive into your usual semantic field to sanctify your holy candidate , the giant corruption fighter to your depiction according. In fact,this article is just a waste of talent, abuse of wisdom and a futile effort of winning the heart of masses. If you are sponsored to do this then you have a hell of task ahead. I m sorry for sounding different today because you are too far from being objective in all your discourses related to Buhari, who is the hero of the masses. There is no time in history when Buhari fled his country just for fear of persecution. Only a person who is deadly coward flees his country for his personal safety as your hero did. Jonathan pardoned Ribadu and solicited his loyalty. Now it is his turn to reciprocate by dividing our votes. If you are democratically minded and oriented, assess your readers' views and see whether you win the debate. Haba dr! change for better and hope for better; think of a free and fair title, for this one does not sell, consider the other way round, why Ribadu should concede for Buhari.before you compose another one presumably on free and fair election.NIGERIA SAI MAI GASKIYA! Ibrahim Jibiya

Aliyu Shehu said...

salam Aliyu.
(Gaskiya daya)Truth is one. Your article seems philosophical and for minds to punder on. I really feel we have somany anti corruption crusaders in this nation but oppurtunity to serve is slim so for pple like Ribadu to sprank up is rear. I know you can also do more than Ribadu given the chance to serve and as a friend for years. We both have friends that we know they will do same or better to make developments get to the grass root.
May Allah choose the best for Nigeria.
Aliyu Shehu.

Shariff said...

Dr Tilde,

I really appreciate your line of thinking which is novel, thought provoking and a food for tought. The premises of your argumnets are both genuine and worthy of consideration, if and only if, we can actually trust Ribadu's bid for the presidency. The chances that Ribadu is not a PDP stooge in ACN is at best, a 50/50 probability.

I this regards, I expected you to have discuss the logic of Obasonjo and Jonathan granting Ribadu presidential pardon, so that he (Ribadu) can come and challenge the same dou in the forthcoming election. Even common sense would not comprehend this, which is the reason why I said Ribadu’s sincerity is at best, a 50/50 probabiltiy. Therefore, we have every reason to question Ribadu's integrity as a presidential candidate, other than coming to do the bids of Obasanjo/Jonathan, to ensure that the votes of the opposition are divided, which will guarantee Jonathan winning the election.

Moreso, we also have fresh in our memory Ribadu's selective justice in EFCC, where only corrupts politicians that were not align to the then President Obasanjo where brought to book.

However, we do not have any reason to question Buhari's sincerity and resolve to move Nigeria forward, atleast by putting a stop to the current endemic corruption in the land.

I believe that rather than insisting on contesting for presidency, Ribadu should drop his humanly ego and step down for Buhari. This will give him the rare opportunity to prove himself to Nigerians beyond reasonable doubts: that he is for Nigerian progress and development. Also, if he does so, and Buhari wins the election, Ribdu would have golden prospect and chance to work together with Buhari, gain more experiences by fighting corruption with all the freedom and state apparatus in his favour. This will also add to Ribadu’s credentials and the chance for a clean win in the future election.


Shariff Ghali

Anonymous said...

A bitter truth which must be said, it's still bitter in my mouth, but its the truth.Buhari's inability to contain the CPC affairs has just proved some of your points.He really lacks like-minds a round him who will help in running the affairs of the CPC with sincerity.Its my prayer that he see it in the same way.
I have never thought that with Buhari in the race I will give some one a second look, these facts have made sense to me.
Ceding to Ribadu will just make him a greater Hero of our time, even if the rumour going round that Ribadu was sent to share the Northern votes is true,you see that strategy has failed , and PDP will become history in our life time.
May Allah answer our prayers and show us the end of these crooks with our own eyes.
Carry on.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dr Tilde.
Again, many thanks for this bold and honest analysis.
In fact, when the truth is said, even the man on the street will acknowledge it and accept it rather than holding unto sentiments that will not help anyone (in fact, will be detrimental to the majority).
In the previous article, i commented that let our Big Brother Gen Buhari make this supreme sacrifice and concede to Ribadu. This will not only give the PDP and its masters sleepless nights but will further cement the weak ties between the North & the South.
May Allah (SWT) guide our Big Brother to accept this proposition so that we can see a new dawn in Nigerian politics - insha Allah.

Abdulrashid said...

Abdulrashid Abba Ali
My dear readers, there is no doubt about that, this article is well written, but like one of my brother comment, WISDOM IS MUST IMPORTANT THAN STRENGTH. I agree with a lot of points mention by Dr tilde and those that comment before me.
I believe that what Buhari did in 80's in terms of the way he take decisions in a hash manner because of age will not do it NOW.
Same with Ribadu, because of age and experience, what Ribadu did is EFCC on how he handle some of the cases, after a few years he will do handle it in the same manner he did last eight years.
Ribadu, is opportuned to handle only one sector of the public office EFCC. As police officer he did not head office such as command, college or State as an ACP or so, which should have given him more exposure in handling a public office.
Young, Energetic, is important, but above all WISDOM and EXPERIENCE is most IMPORTANT. Our hope is to Challenge PDP and also to have a GOOD LEADER WHO will take our country FORWARD and BRING US OUT of this SITUATION.

Bashir Yahuza Malumfashi, said...

Kudos Dr. Tilde. This article of yours has happily make my day. Your objective analysis has rekindled my hope. I'm a die-hard supporter and admirer of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari but I totally agree and support your idea. May Allah Help us, amin!

Ahmad Ali said...
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Ahmad Ali said...
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Mustapha A Kazaure said...

Salam Dr Tilde,

I'm in complete support of your view and I also want to add that if Buhari carries Ribado round the entire north our pepole will surely vote for him. If the reverse is to happened Buhari will not be an easy sell in the west keeping in mind that the votes of southeast and southsouth is going to GEJ for sure. The only way to stop GEJ is to unit the votes of the west and the north. May Allah ( SWT) give Buhari the courage to do this ultimate and noble sacrifice. Amiiiiiin

Mustapha Kazaure

Ahmad Ali said...

Salam Dr...
Initially, i used to respect whatever you say in your writings , but i totally disagree with what you said in this article. This article made me to start loosing faith in your writings. For us TALAKAWA you can't even imagine comparing the people that served under the regime of Obasanjo/Atiku government with that Buhari`s because the difference is just clear as black and white

Ahmad Ali said...

Salam Dr...
Initially, i used to respect whatever you say in your writings , but i totally disagree with what you said in this article. This article made me to start loosing faith in your writings. For us TALAKAWA you can't even imagine comparing the people that served under the regime of Obasanjo/Atiku government with Buhari because he served under Abacha, the difference is just clear as black and white!!!

Abubakar said...

Now Dr Tilde give us follow up response. Consider your experiment for Ribadu a dead project and continue on the path of the common man on the street of Katsina, bauchi etc. You acn agree with me that your readers have defined you a philosopher whose theories are bound to fail.


Dr, as much as I respect your opinion, maybe based on your closeness to Buhari, I am yet to be fully convinced that Buhari is responsible for the crisis in CPC. If anything, Buhari has performed an exceptional feat by coming up with a new party that is attracting all and sundry - hence the bickering – and is able to compete with older and richer parties. Besides, you argument about age not being on Buhari's side is simply theoretical and too simplistic to be taken down hook, line and sinker, even by the very refined mind you are seeking to sell this idea to. How old was Nelson Mandela when he became South Africa’s president? Did age stop him from standing out and becoming easily the most credible former president in the world? My main worry about handing over the ticket to Nuhu Ribadu is that he is too inexperienced and may not even be taken seriously by Northern voters even if told to do so by Buhari. But it remains an option and if in the end we have to, then we will. Again, you concern about splitting votes and allowing the PDP an easy victory is genuine. But even if Buhari backs down for Ribadu what about the Shekarau factor, what about the Bola Tinubu influence in ACN and the recent manipulation in Lagos that has attracted protests? While Shekarau could split votes Tinubu could, being ACN’s largest financier and godfather, make Ribadu incapable of delivering just as Obasanjo made it harder for him as you rightly mentioned. We hope they are able to reach some agreement, except that something tells me someone is not being 100 per cent truthful. And this is why Buhari is cautious with agreeing to an alliance.

Anonymous said...

This discourse lacks objective focus and is oblivious of stark reality on ground. For God's sake, do not let me say that you are treading the path of "Blesphemy". How dare you ever think in that direction? Are you positioning yourself should in case, now or in the near future, Ribadu stumbles on his GOODLUCK? Do not forget goodluck rarely comes to those who include it on their agenda. (Though we have one now). If ever Ribadu wanted to associate with Buhari he should have idenfied himself with him overtly and covertly all along (Hamid Ali has done that)and not allow himself to have been conscripted by Lagos-Ibadan axis. Ko gidan giya akwai babba. Please, write an unreserved apology to some of us for wasting our precious time to read this particular discourse thinking that it is going to be "Business as Usual" Gaskiya, this one is "Business Unusual". Is it possible for you to be writing an abstract of your discourse?

muhalisu said...

In as much as I believe in the ideology of both Men; Ribadu and Buhari, I still see Buhari as better choice; though the article no doubt aimed at selling Ribadu for whatever reason, and failed to mention even for once why Ribadu should concede to Buhari. Despite that I personally don't mind if Buhari concede to Ribadu(Against my sentimental feelings for Buhari, I would love to see that happened, if that will lead to victory for all), but I always see the trade off between Strength vs Wisdom, support of south-west vs support of mighty North, these and many more issues need to consider before taking action, and I would like to know how many of us are ready to die for Ribadu?

mallam jibrin sa`eed said...

This article has fallen short of my be fair to you dr.your article lacks start with ribadu,this is a man whom during his stint as effc boss we witnessed the use of the agency to settle personal scores,it is no longer news that obj used ribadu to witch hunt political opponents.ribadu allowed himself to be used and misguided by obj,how then can this unprincipled personality be compared to buhari?.

on the other hand buhari has been tried not once and every agent of change knows that he is reliable,trustworthy and patriotic.after all,how can you dr. convince us that it is not the same obj/jeg that sponsored ribadu to play the spoiler to buhari`s chance in the April polls?to say the least i never expect this article from you. dr.remember that buhari`s name is in the household of most can not say the same to ribadu.

do you know what makes me laugh at ribadu for joining acn? it is when i remember what ribadu described tinubu in 2006.ribadu called tinubu a thief,a 419ner, and a money launderer.i now wonder what ``a patriotic and corrupt free'' ribadu doing in a party that is being financed and headed by tinubu a 419ner.

bakar said...

Both men are dearly need now than ever for Nigeria. But I think Buhari should head the presidency while Ribadu should help cleanup the mess in EFCC and reclaim its glory. He will definitely get the full support of Buhari. And will start projecting his future presidency. Age is on his side and he should not worry. Then Nigerians will enjoy double benefits and the change will be extremely good for the nation. We do want the service of both men. This is a wise option.

Abubakar said...

I learnt this piece was an experiment in 'reverse style' to poll people's rating for Buhari to be considered instead of Ribadu for the alliance. Dr cleverly achieved that!

danbatta said...

Dr, evanthough u a entitled to ur opinion, however my candit view is that i still dont consider Ribadu as a serious candidate whom Buhari should step down for, to me there is no difference b/ween Ribadu and his godfather Obasanjo, apart frm name, tribe and religion.Ribadu is a stooge to OBJ and will continue to be one. what OBJ did to the north and still doing will never be forgotten and are still fresh in our minds.So Dr pls leave BUHARI alone, iam solidly behind the General.


NA ALLAH ZARIA:-If the two can meet and become it`ll will be better 4 us.If the wishes are horses,masses could have ridden by choosing Buhari. I dont want to comment on Buhari`s alleged corrupt practice, because its a naked lie,while Ribadu was accused of jungle justice. To crwn it all, Buhari should allow Ribadu for these reasons
:- 1. nortern conspiracy will not allow Buhari 2.fear of unknown by the riches.

Anonymous said...

Yi hakuri DR. Sai Bukhari, otherwise akai kasuwa.

Anonymous said...

Yi hakuri DR. Sai Bukhari, otherwise akai kasuwa.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a PDP agent at his best, if not, how would you expect a Northern establishment to allow a Ribadu presidency? This is the guy that said corrupt people will never henceforth rule Nigeria, and most of them are sharp shooters and leaders of democracy in their domains now,and this has run across all the parties,how can you reconcile this huge gap?Ribadu at this material time is not a good presidential material,at best a minister!

Ibrahim said...

Dr, indeed you have spoken. As I read through this article tears began to fill my eyes. I felt some comfort in my heart that should this alliance work out, our generation would have set the path towards redeeming its image and leaving behind a legacy for future generations. What we need is an alliance that would bring about meaningful change and progressive development in our country. The biggest problem we face as a nation is corruption and it's successful eradication/reduction will ensure that every sector of the country will begin to function. I pray that God in His infinite mercies will give us a leader that would lead us aright and give us the desired change we need Amin.