Monday, January 7, 2008

The circumstances surrounding Ribadu's alleged removal are convoluted. Last week, Nigeria's current Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro, informed the media that Ribadu was one of seven senior police officers that must spend a year studying in Jos. Despite this very public announcement, Ribadu responded that he was never informed of the proposed transfer. Aondoakaa has since come out and informed Nigerians that Ribadu's removal was not without Yar'Adua's permission. With each passing day, there is some new piece of information that continues to impress upon some that this removal is an attempt to derail the anti-corruption crusade which has netted big fish like Ibori and just recently focused the resources of the EFCC on Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello. It is highly doubtful that the average Nigerian will ever know what exactly has happened and why.

There are many things about this situation that I simply do not know, but a few issues keep reverberating in my head, especially at night.

I know that the President of Nigeria has a lot on his plate, but, as I have said in the past, there comes a time when a leader must converse with the people (s)he leads. Effective presidents rise to the occasion particularly when citizens are experiencing a period of confusion and uncertainty. Now would be a good time for Yardy to either have a tete-a-tete with Nigerian citizens or at least issue a statement that clarifies his stance on this matter.

Last week, Aondoakaa suggested that Yardy gave his 'blessings' for the transfer. However, considering the bad blood between Aondoakaa and Ribadu, I do not think that he should be the President's mouth piece on this issue. When discussing the incessant back and forth between Aondoakaa and Ribadu in 'SABOTAGE: AONDOAKAA VS. RIBADU ET. AL.', I stressed the importance of Yardy talking to the people. I believed then and do now, that it will make the difference of reassuring Nigerians that their hopes for a Nigeria where corruption does not pay was not in vain. If I may repeat myself, again, "Can someone please impress upon him that comments by Aondoakaa will not suffice...."

More recent reports have the President's spokesman also suggesting that his boss gave permission for Ribadu's study leave. However, the spokesman came short of actually saying that Yar'Adua actually wants Ribadu to be in Jos for the year. Why the bait and switch moves? All Yardy has to do is come out and say that this is a Police matter and that he will not intervene. Clearly, he is trying to avoid the problem - he just refused Ribadu's entry to Aso Rock. But, I will say this again, as President of the country, he does not have the luxury of avoiding the tough issues. Sometimes, and this is a perfect situation, he has to answer to the people.

President Bush recently hailed Yardy as a President committed to providing Nigerians with a government that is "fair and transparent." My gut tells me that this act of removing Ribadu from the EFCC has nothing to do with such attributes and more to do with satisfying the 'gods' that want to stem the anti-corruption crusade and protect their interests and secrets. Additionally, removing Ribadu at this particular point in the nation's agenda against corruption sends the wrong message - if you work hard, you will be punished. Nigerians are finally excited by the fact that previously untouchable characters are now forced to return stolen public money and others will defend themselves in a court of law. This is unprecedented in Nigeria, so why derail the process? If the EFCC is doing a good job, why remove its chief without adequate notice so that the Commission can adequately prepare for a new Chief who will continue to work towards the Commission's mandate? Would that not have been "fair and transparent"?


As of January 4th, Ribadu has now announced that he will be going on study leave to Kuru, but it still is unclear when exactly he was informed that he needed to go. However, up uptil last night, Nigerian newspapers insisted that he had not been personally informed via communication tith the Inspector General of Police of the course. Keep in mind that Okiro announced Ribadu's removal on December 25th, 2007. According to pursuant information, the Police course is set to begin in February 2008 and run until the end of the year. How can a participant adequately plan to spend the majority of the year in another state (though it is in driving distance from Abuja where Ribadu resides) without adequate notice?

I hate to lay blame at the feet of Obasanjo, but I think there is enough blame to pass around. Remember what happened when he brought Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to run the Ministry of Finance? Her salary contract caused consternation because it denominated her pay in U.S. dollars and not Naira, Nigeria's currency. That was in direct conflict with laws already inplace that required all Nigerian officials to be paid in Naira.

With regard to the current situation, Obasanjo's decision to elevate Ribadu to Assistant Inspector General as a means to keep him in office after the transition to Yar'Adua's administration plays a key role in the current confusion that Nigerians are experiencing. Ribadu is beholden to the laws and requirements of Nigeria's police force and must honor his instructions as a police officer. My curious mind cannot help but wonder whether that was a ploy by OBJ to keep a potential leash on the EFCC that can be used if and when necessary. Before anyone attacks me for raising a potential conspiracy theme, please do not forget that Ribadu's study leave came up less than a week after Iyabo-Obasanjo-Bello's allegedly fraudulent activity was revealed to the public.

Nevertheless, as was the case with Okonjo-Iweala, our laws are unclear. Who does Ribadu answer to? The President, the Inspector general of Police, the National Assembly or no one at all? It appears that the EFCC Act "does not permit the President or the Inspector-General of Police to send the EFCC agents and other personnel on any course..." Too often, our laws are in conflict with each other. Whatever the case may be, I am glad that the National Assembly has committed itself to reviewing the constitution this year and hope that this move will also lead to a clarification of other laws that constantly conflict with each other.

This Ribadu situation raises so many issues that I hope will be resolved sooner, rather than later. As is usually the case, only time will tell what will happen. I desperately hope that the EFCC will overlook this bureaucratic confusion and get back to investigating corrupt individuals and forcing them to pay up.

26 Curiosities. Add Yours.:

Dami said...

"particularly when citizens are experiencing a period of confusion and uncertainty."

perhaps he doesnt understand why people should be confused over this ribadu issue, the media made the most out of it, yardy is basically allowing people do their job, things are so already

Jinta said...

it's always the same pattern: Abacha had Nzeribe shouting his praises to high heavens (or hell, as was this case); OBJ used Iwu to rig; Yardy is using Okiro for his dirty work.

That man Yardy may not be as lame as he looks - too many special interests.

Sugabelly said...

Found you! Love, love your blog! See you around this year.

Atutupoyoyo said...

Another thought provoking post SS with some very compelling arguments.

I noticed Yardy was slipping considerably in the opinion polls recently. Over 50% of Nigerians now feel that he is doing an inadequate job. What opinion polls I hear you cry? Well therein lies one of the major problems of our leaders - a lack of accountability. Yes we need to hear directly from our President during a time of national emergency. Will it happen though? I doubt it. In the absence of a direct address from Aso Rock what happens is that any two-bit politician now has the mandate to get on his soapbox and start bleating about what the President likes and dislikes, what his thoughts are, what he had for tea, what his favourite colour is, etc. Yardy's silence signifies overhwelming acquiescence. If Aondakaa comes out and says that Yardy's favourite colour is red, Yardy's silence must surely indicate that we are unlikely to see him in a yellow tank top any time in the near future.

I always found it odd that Ribadu did not resign as an NPF employee the minute he was appointed as head of EFCC. It is the ultimate conflict of interest. Is the head of the CIA a part time military general? Does the FBI chief moonlight as a traffic warden? This is a serious position that requires complete independence from other law enforcement agencies. His position as a policeman always meant he was vunerable to their laws and guidelines. If he has to go on a course he has to go on a course.

This is a watershed moment in the fight against corruption. Much of Ribadu's work will begin to unravel and I fear for the integrity of the EFCC. I do think that Ribadu's removal shortly after the name of Obasanjo-Bello being tossed around is a pure coincidence. It is as coincidental as the time that Judas arrived in the garden of Gethsemane with a few Roman Soldiers.

As for Aondakaa? Who is this person? He has had the remarkable achievement of failing to do a single thing that has impressed me during his brief tenure. Is there a more odious, despicable and self-serving politician in the cabinet? Actually don't answer that……..

Atala Wala Wala said...

Like you, I'm baffled as to Yar'Adua's silence. The last time a president was this silent and uncommunicative over a national issue was the third term agenda issue - and it generated more heat that it was worth.

I understand that Yar'Adua may not want to meddle unnecessarily in every single detail - but where it is quite clear that there is confusion over an important issue like the direction of the anti-corruption drive, I think such silence is counterproductive.

Perhaps Yar'Adua's silence is because he is a hostage to various interest groups so that a public pronouncement will endanger his political life?

Anyway, if the EFCC dies the death after Ribadu's exit, it'll mean one of two things:

- The EFCC was a victim of its perceived success. It made too much noise before it had been properly institutionalised so that it was hard to dismantle it. And the problem with making too much noise in that situation is that once the agency's political backing is gone, those people who perceive it as a threat can easily clip its wings.

- Ribadu didn't do a good enough job of entrenching people with his vision and creating a culture in th EFCC that would ensure the perpetuation of the work he had started. This would be a problem if Yar'Adua was sincere about continuing with the anti-corruption drive, but there were simply not the right kind of people to sustain the drive against corruption.


PS Thanks for stopping by in the Junction. Yeah, I do still blog - in fact I've just added a new post, so if you're ever in the neighbourhood... :)

Aspiring nigerian woman said...

Unceremoniously removing EFCC chairman, to attend some training course is a very major issue, and yet, Yardy is fast asleep! I simply don't get it.

I am sad to advise Ribadu to simply resign and take up a meaningful position with one of the International organisations. If you can not influence from inside, try the outside.

*The craziness of naija politics drives my soul and spirit to a shallow grave of sorrow*. Do I really share the same root and ties with the mad people politicians of this day?

shhhh said...

you have impressed me with this piece. very well written. yardy is a weak , slow to act leader. sad but true

Waffarian said...

You always make all the muddled business so clear.I agree that Yardy has to talk to the people, but come to think of it, which Nigerian President ever did? we are used to their "dictatorlike" leadership, to us, there are too "up there". I think we the people, have to start demanding answers, Nigerians need to understand that it is their right to demand answers from the leadership. People just "gossip" about issues, newspapers critisize, and yet, nothing happens. I don't even think they believe themselves that they will be given answers.

guerreiranigeriana said...

thank you for this piece...this whole ribadu thing has been very confusing...all the positive press about the efcc...i too was hopeful that this efcc alone would be able to start to crack down on corruption...naivete can be so bad...

..my initial gut reaction when hearing that ribadu was to take some leave for studies was one that signaled that something was not right...you start to wonder about priorities...at what point does the completion of a course not necessarily related to the work being done, outprioritize a campaign as large as anti-corruption in nigeria?...i couldn't get a clear answer about what was really transpiring from anyone, just speculations...and i guess because it is not clear...

...and what does that say for the efcc?..is it the efcc or just ribadu and his minions?...so the efcc is incapable of continuing to function properly without ribadu?..if the 'interim' leader were to start to protect certain folks, we can't be assured that the others in the efcc would bring this to the public's attention and have him removed?...a sad state we are in if the success of the efcc is on one man's head only...

...yardy is really losing favor in my eyes...this silence act is getting old and is disappointing...but afterall, anyone that bush recognizes as being worthy is someone to be feared...

...i am beginning to believe that for naija to really experience change (i think this may also be my lack of patience for slow change), we will have to abandon waiting on revisions of laws or other bureaucratic processes...i think the people have to take it to streets, sans ethnic killings and agendas...the armed robbers should change up their tactics...instead of attacking innocents or artists like tuface, they should solely attack the politicians embezzling money...we all know who they are, right?...more than efcc, i would be afraid for armed robbers to come and seize my possessions and possibly kill me...this would call for a vast improvement in their (armed robbers) whole mode of operation...but something a la robin hood style...waiting on government to think and act in favor of the people is like waiting for godot...how many donald dukes can there be and how often will they come along?...

...sorry such a long post...it really bothers me...and i've been waiting for someone to help me understand the issue...you have helped immensely, more than you can know!!!...thank you again and kisses...

NigeriaPolitricks.com said...

I will need my head examined if I dare to absolve Yardua from the odium of suspicion and complicity in Ribadu's removal.
I would further posit that the little credibility or benefit of doubt that Yardua's govt had with this sham anti-corruption crusade, if any, has irrevocably dissipated by this shameful Ribadu's "one year course-odering deployment" service and was permanently "extinguished"(pardon the pun) in this recent convenient “tight-lipped” Yardua posturing.
In Nigeria, those that deserves training in democratic tenets are the ones shooting off bazookas of orders! How did these weasels ended up in a position of authority in our political landscape anywayz? Shame on us Nigerians for letting these currupt political brigandes thrive on our passive acquiescence to their garrison politics!
Yardua's illegal govt; imposed by a spineless cabal of criminals will stop at nothing to ensure that their wicked and self-serving reign of corruption and wanton looting is not interrupted by anything or anyone.
Ribadu is just a victim of a corrupt establishment; but we, all Nigerians, are suckers to a motley crowd of uncouth brigands and leeches led by renegades of a criminal govt.
With the death of the EFCC aka Ribadu's romoval, Yardua will be condemned to the dustbin of history for frittering away the opportunity to lift the country out of the doldrums; moreso for presiding over the demise of the country's democracy with his mediocre performance and primitive disposition.
Time for change is NOW!!!


Sherri said...

a well written piece indeed!
all of this go beyond coincidents.
like u i smell a rat(with a tale)
it shud really be very interesting to see how this blows.

Femme said...

our leaders have never bothered to take the time out to let us in on their plans.
Press conferences are only for announcing the new military leaders and new year messages of goodwill.
Things can't get any more opaque.

TheAfroBeat said...

LMAO @ Atutupuyoyo's comment on Judas in the garden of Gethsemane, coincidence indeed!

I second Waffarian though, we keep saying we need to demand, how do we demand? How do we hold our government to ransom? hold them accountable to the people? Make our President SPEAK to US? The people of Kenya, in their violence (which i do not at all condone yet understand) are holding their President accountable for his corrupt practices. Business will NOT go on as normal, and gossip will NOT continue under the table until he steps down or agrees to a recount of the votes.

How do we get Baba Go Slow to open his mouth? Me no know, but something has to give.

Great post as usual!

Ms. emmotions said...

hmmm, i dare not speak on this as i fear i may head the opposite direction on this accusation of yardy's removal of ribadu for his selfish reasons.

has it occurred to anyone that ribadu in the actual sense may ve been working for somebody or some group of people to 'punish'those they wish 2?

am not ignorant of the corruption practices in nigeria esp by its leaders, am also not ignorant of the fact that ribadu has been able to expose some corrupt politicians am just a bit worried that we will end up taggin some innocent ones as corrupt ones they tow the line we dont understand as is wit ribadu's removal.

there is wat is called controls, checks and balances, isnt reshuffling some of those that holds certain amount of powers ones in a while some sort of control against them becoming a demi- god in their offices?

but then, my opinion

i like ur grasp on politics and happenings around the country esp for a woman, am intrigued.

well done

Kiibaati said...

How come everybody wants to forget that Ribadu was never confirmed by the legislature for the second term of office? He is at best in acting capacity? As much as we commend him for the work he did, one can not help but see the poetic justice in the way he was recalled. By the police chief as if he was an officer who absconded from duty.

Yardy is not Umaru-go-slow as some people think. He was a physics lecturer for crying out loud. And he was passing across the message that he did not need to recall Ribadu because he(Ribadu)was never appointed for a second term as provide by the much quoted EFCC act.
As for Okiro's antics, remember the african proverb that when a father sends the son to steal, the son feels no need to sneak in and out. Afterall, he father sent him.

Obinwanne said...

i couldnt believe the removal..

Omodudu said...

I tell you, me I am not sure Nigeria is worth fighting for...Maybe Nigerians will rise up when they start throwing peoples parents in jail...

rethots said...

Prepare for an epistle (an epistle you wrote anyways...)

At first 'twas bad blood i felt, Aondoakaa (renamed 'I don't care' by thisday's Simon Kolawole) finally has his way. On a critical look, Ribadu isn't law unto himself and should not be indispensable. Problem was timing, manner of announcement, et al.
Be that as it may, Ribadu is gone (for his own good i hope) and Yaradua can redeem his government by putting someone 'worse' than Ribadu who will continue the fight without fear. That said.

In a space of 4years, Ribadu was promoted from CSP (i think, through, ACP, DCP, CP) to AIG whoa! I would love that myself. It behooves me how such rapid promotions.
Someone whispered; "he's doing a fantastic job" excuse me, as a policeman (or leader), nothing short of that is expected of him. Naturally, 'tis bound to bring bad blood among the rank & file of the police force. I asked, do the police actually allow such rapid promotions without relevant courses? Crucify me not, a detached mind i try to have.

But then, Nigeria (whose future we are, & must change & sanitise) accepts anything. Could a lecturer (Ph.d) made a minister be giving a professorial chair (simply 'cos he's doing a good job which is expected anyway) without him having written (or propounded) necessary theories on his/her subject specialisation? I think out loud.

But then, every block-head gets an honourary doctorate (just having the rite money et al, i pressume).

Let's face it, Ribadu's done a great job but, he is first and foremost a policeman. If he was in a regular police deployment he couldn't have risen sooo rapidly, yet a good job he still would have been doing wherever he was.
No! Don’t tell me but, "he's doing a good job now." That sends a wrong signal, that, the default is not to do a good job; however, if you want a (rapid) promotion, do a good job. I don't know but, i don't think he has the requisite police experience to occupy that position -AIG.

Get me wrong not, a good leader (chairman, EFCC) does not necessarily equate a good (& experienced) policeman. Afterall, if he was never a policeman (note, he is a lawyer by 1st profession) he will still do a great job as chairman, EFCC. But, without passing through the rank & file of police institution (& attending necessary courses), he (probably) cannot effectively discharge his duties as a senior ranking officer.

No matter how good you are as a career soldier, you will never be promoted from a commander (lt.colonel) to a rear admiral (major general) in 4years. Never.

Doing a good job is expected of us all; being an outstanding person at your job, writes your name in the sand of time; but, should never be made to disrupt the structural order of a uniformed (police & soldiers)organisation.

Be that as it may, i believe they could have handled this situation with much more expediency.

Why do i get the feeling that good critics (Olusegun Adeniyi, a favourite thisday editor) of the government -who put the government on their toes, forget their principles once they get called into government. ?

Unknown said...

Great Post!!

Can I say this, "Bush Ko Bush ni"

♥♫♪nyemoni♫♪♥ said...

Phew...na wah for us o! Interesting comments and a lot of them mirror mine...let me save myself the headache...take care!

vindication through innocence said...

having had a chat with a few chums of mine, its come to my attn that Mr Yardie has a kidney problem which is why he was put there- he cant work excessively due to his condition so people think he is not pulling his weight- but the truth is, if he starts pulling his weight, it will put his health at risk
i honestly feel Buhari would have/will move nigeria forward!!does anyone remember sanitation day- remember how clean apapa was??
anyho, that is another essay Sol abi?anyho, This ribadu situation is just typical of the current administration!!i dont think any of the ministers are afraid of Yardy cos people know that OBJ is still running tings!
Ribs was actually supposed to be presido along with El Rufai according to one story circulating in and about abuja!but anyho, as Ribadu is on study leave, what is going to happen to EFCC? are all activities and investigations gonna halt seeing as he is the head of the organisation?how can an organisation run without a leader?
also, can somebody explain to me why the EFCC is not accountable to any other organisation?ie the police?- an additional rant is the whole Iyabo contract story. Why is it that every time there is a story about OBJ and family nicking money, it isnt probed but when, contracts were not awarded properly in nnpc there is an investigation!?
Nice work!!

Omodudu said...

I think most people were right about Yaradua. I was quite optimistic about his rule, but now its so obvious that Yaradua is playing a game with the people and attempting to look good and innocent while doing it too. He knows and does more in the background than he makes us believe. That guy is a sell out. Hands off Nigerian politics.

desperate lady said...

Why am i so lost? i just started reading and i'm so lost. Let me go try again.

desperate lady said...

I could have sworn Obasanjo is the president of Nigeria. So Yardy is supposed to be the new one right?
Ok sorry if i'm being too inquisitive but there are some things i don't understand.
What does EFCC stand for?
What's wrong with someone being transferred and why does the president have to approve before an individual is transferred? Please reply so i can come back and leave a proper comment.

desperate lady said...

This is tremendously stupid for crying out loud, why exactly is every politician or high person corrupted? My points exactly?.....Well i'm assuming there r other high people in Nigeria that can do something about this......If the citizens are angry about the president's silence then why sit there and do nothing about it? Where are those days that people riot? where are the very bold one's of Nigeria?
Where are those days that schools go on strike, increase in fuel price if things dont go the way they want?
Why has everyone decided to be quiet? Because there all scared? Well maybe the president is scared like us all as well for reasons we may never find out.
Honestly i think Ribadu shouldn't transfer, he has the choice right? or will the Inspector general of police also make that decision for him as well?
They may as well close down the EFCC because i wonder what it's function will be after Ribadu is gone.
Thanks Solomdyelle for the explanation, i felt so left out earlier but now i'm blending in.
As for Obasanjo, i really don't understand his function in power anymore, i think it's only in Nigeria that people don't understand that when one is no longer a president, he has no say is shit(sorry). Stupid Ugly Fat Man!

Jaja said...

I ll start by saying I have lost my voice from arguing about this whole madness since the past weeks...

I am growing wary of and weary actually of Yardy supposed slow diplomatic ways.

There are so many sides to this....
I ll just say that as a nation the idea that we are in a new era, that something was being done about corruption, and that there are laws that no one in the land is above. The idea of this was giving tremendous renovation to our national psyche.
It was raising us from those depths the fool Banbangida threw us into...

This was what made me particularly happy about Ribadu.

With all the convoluted stories and recriminating I wish Yaradua will put his good head and office to good use. I need Ribadu back on that sit( except u have any otherwise story abt him)

Happy new year oo..

Every one is saying that the IG of police was put there by Odili. Ibori is claiming that Ribadu's boys have stolen from him.

I am sticking with Ribadu. Yardy needs more balls!

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