“Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy.”
― Warren Buffett,
I am greatly mystified. I am truly baffled. Nuhu Ribadu, has been given a prophesied electoral hiding in the gubernatorial election of Adamawa state, and commentators still in love with his once shining record as anti corruption czar are yakking about a ‘good’ man losing. Ribadu kissing of the canvas was foretold. There were too many reasons. Chief among them was the platform. The PDP, whose flag he flew, in the just held polls, was a party doomed. Its originators and latter day members were fleeing in droves. But Ribadu, against all sane advice, last August, dived, head first into the rickety PDP vehicle on a downhill drive and without brakes. Now he has crashed and may be buried politically under its debris forever.
Others still holding loosely to its membership card adopted ‘siddon-look’.
‘Siddon-look’ was late Bola Ige’s political philosophy in the days of “five fingers of a leprous hand”. These were the days of military strongman General Sani Abacha. It was a reference to the five political parties registered by the military government and curiously; all of them adopted the late leader as their presidential candidate. Out of probably anger and angst, Ige dismissed them as such and adopted a passive protest or feigned indifference, hence the “siddon-look” disposition.
Still there were yet another category of sufficiently aggrieved members of the PDP who operated as fifth columnists. They remained and worked assiduously under the cloak of ‘ ensuring a fresh mandate’ for outgoing president Goodluck Jonathan whilst working to undermine the process. It was a party hooked on high wire intrigues. She was as transparent in the conduct of its affairs as the nation’s secret police. Severally in the past, the party had willfully sabotaged its own rules to satisfy a whimsical commander-in-chief. Ribadu willfully pitched his tent there.
It would have tantamount to the 8th wonder if Ribadu had won any political contest in Adamawa on his own record. This may sound incredible. The Adamawa political terrain is perfidious. It is mega complex. Its elite should occupy a front row in the hall of perfidy. They dominated the PDP. When Ribadu defected and was hoisted as the flag bearer, they bided their time. The last minute defection of some stalwarts to APC was their expression of discontent with the manner Ribadu was “sneaked’ in at the eleventh hour. The result is the resounding defeat at the polls.
In Abuja and beyond, he was a shining super ex-cop. He stood out. He was a shoulder above all his peers. Even his ardent critics conceded that he was materially incorruptible. His credentials unbeatable. They scream for his immediate employment. They dripped of the Warren Buffet dream qualities of hire: integrity, intelligence, and energy. He possessed them in abundance. But at home? He equates the idea of prophets not being celebrated at home. The local scene had “owners’ and “warlords’ some of whom nursed mighty grudges carried over from his daring days as the nation’s most credible corruption fighter. His foray for executive powers, legitimate though, but in a manner reeking of “opportunism” however, shredded the most important quality of Buffet’s standard of hiring.
We, the tribe of Ribadu lovers, were heart broken when he chose to defect. We found it incredulous that a man of his reputation would chose a party with the reputation of PDP. On this page on August 15,2014,I wrote thus “His public persona is such that his admirers find it difficult to fit it into the treacherous politics of PDP in general and Adamawa in particular. It will mean he is guilty of all three vices that defined the character of Nyako. It will mean that he, all along, is no different from all the political charlatans masquerading as patriots. I truly don’t see Ribadu in PDP. We should calm down, he dares not defect just because he wants to be governor.”
How could Ribadu not have known that he was being set up for a fall? How could he not have learned from the duplicity of politicians from his presidential quest of 2011? His party lords then in the ACN, abandoned him half way into the contest losing in all but one state in the Southwest where they remarkably held sway. Is it that we over rated him? Or is it that Ribadu lacks the emotional intelligence to detect and isolate threats that would seek to neutralize permanently his political profile?
Question like these bring to scrutiny his days as a fearless fighter of corruption. They suggest that at the time he made decidedly intrepid gains against that hydra headed monster stalling our growth, he was a mere puppet faithfully responding to the strings pulled by a master puppeteer. Was he a fluke? These question linger. They are begging for answers. That is why I am bewildered. Why would an ‘intelligent’ and “energetic” and man of “integrity” chose a short cut to power? Did we over rate him?
Long ago, comparison with President-elect, Buhari with Ribadu was routine. Not so much for their genes but for their remarkable record of public service. The likes of the duo in our clime were rare. Not any more. Buhari spent 12 long years chasing glory. He never cut any “corners”. He never asked for an uneven playing field.
On this page on August 21,2014 after his defection, I concluded “ I, like all his admirers, was heartbroken by his defection. But having thought about it hard, I have come to the sobering conclusion that all along the man is just a politician-foxy, flexible and lacking in principle. All these talk about ‘rescuing’ Adamawa state by some sympathizers is bunkum. So is the talk about no clear difference between APC and PDP. Another boloney. My initial angst was that I took Ribadu seriously, rated him very highly forgetting that he is a politician. A politician, according to Tony Wilson, is a man of many words. Ribadu just proved that. He has defected, deal with it.’’
He has lost the election, deal with it!