Govs, others plot Ribadu’s ouster from govt - Launch media war against him
PLANS are afoot to edge out the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, from the corridors of power, Sunday Tribune can report.
According to investigations, a cabal, which comprise notable state governors and some key presidential candidates, has perfected plans to launch anti-Ribadu campaign to make him unsuitable for the incoming cabinet to be formed by the president-elect, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
The anti-Ribadu mood of the cabal is based on the danger which his continued existence in government pose for government officials, state governors and others whom the EFCC had marked for arrest on charges of corruption.
The EFCC boss had before now been reiterating that none of the government officials investigated for alleged corrupt practices would go scotfree, an indication that the EFCC would effect their arrest at the expiration of their constitutional immunity by May 29, 2007.
The EFCC is said to have already placed some state governors under surveillance to prevent them from escaping abroad at the expiration of their tenures, a move aimed at making them answerable to the charges against them.
Against this background, a pressure group set-up by the cabal has been advising the president-elect and his close confidant not to reckon with Ribadu in the scheme of things ahead of the next cabinet formation.
It is not certain whether Yar’Adua had bowed to pressure to dispense with Ribadu, but Sunday Tribune can report that the cabal is behind media campaigns about Ribadu being named as a possible Inspector General of Police.
The motive of the media campaigns, was to create anti-Ribadu sentiment within the Nigerian police and deliberately pitch the top officials of the police against him.
Sunday Tribune learnt exclusively that the planted media war against Ribadu had started generating ill-feelings within the police circles in view of the loud murmurs by some officials that Ribadu can never be the Inspector General considering his limited qualifications.
To further dent the image of Ribadu before the president-elect, the cabal was said to have recruited ex-police officers and retired Generals to launch heavy campaigns of calumny against him in the media and within the relevant circles.
Meanwhile, a group known as Northern Coalition for Democracy and Justice had hinted that Ribadu may not survive the onslaught against him going by the manner of underground campaign to render him ineffective in the next political dispensation.
The Secretary General of the Group, Mallam Umar Farouk told Sunday Tribune in Abuja that the North was getting accustomed to the impact of the anti-corruption crusade and, hence, would not want the EFCC to be phased out by the next civilian government.
The northern youths, however, admonished the president-elect to be wary of the encroachment of sycophants on his authority, stating that he should use his wisdom to determine whether Ribadu is good for anti-corruption crusade or not.
He said,” since the present civilian government introduced the anti-corruption crusade, we in the North have known the difference because the crusade has encouraged our state governments to be accountable. For this reason, we will do everything possible to encourage the president –elect to retain the crusade.
“Nobody is saying that the president-elect should make Ribadu a minister, but if it pleases him that he should continue to man the EFCC, so be it. Otherwise, let him appoint somebody capable enough to continue the crusade”.