Adamawa Election: Inside the PDP’s Big Scramble for Ribadu

Nuhu Ribadu, former Chairman, EFCC
Nuhu Ribadu

As preparation for the forthcoming governorship election in Adamawa intensifies, the two major political parties – the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP], and the All Progressives Congress [APC] – are wooing a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC,] Nuhu Ribadu, to run for governor on their platforms.

Although Mr. Ribadu is a member of the APC, PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the ruling PDP and some interest groups in his native Adamawa state have stepped up lobby to win the former anti-graft chief over to the ruling party.

This newspaper learnt authoritatively that President Goodluck Jonathan, through one of his closest aides, Hassan Tukur, has made overtures to Mr. Ribadu to cross over to the ruling party.

The National Chairman of the party, Ahmed Muazu, as well as a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Aliyu Modibbo, who are long-time friends of the former EFCC chairman, are also said to be pestering Mr. Ribadu to dump the APC.

Top PDP sources also told this newspaper that the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; a former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Akin Osuntokun; and a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode (who recently defected to the ruling party) might also be enlisted to pressure the anti-corruption activist to join the PDP.

The PDP wants Ribadu, this newspaper understands, as a way of weakening the APC in Adamawa and isolating former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, a political juggernaut who recently defected to the opposition party.

Elections will be held in Mr. Ribadu’s Adamawa State in about three months following the impeachment of former Governor Murtala Nyako by the state assembly.

The lawmakers accuse him of financial mismanagement and gross misconduct, allegations the impeached governor rejected.

Almost immediately after Mr. Nyako’s impeachment, the fortunes of the APC nosedived dramatically in the state. Virtually all elected and appointed officials in the state, who had joined the former governor to defect to the opposition party last year,  returned to the PDP.

From commissioners to local government chairmen and to councillors, almost all officials have pledged loyalty to Acting Governor Umaru Fintiri while also announcing their defection to the PDP.

Impeachment fallout, frustrations

Mr. Ribadu is yet to comment on the speculation that he might soon switch to the PDP. One of his aides said he is still consulting on the matter.

But analysts say it should  not be entirely surprising if the anti-corruption activist eventually dumped his party and accepted the invitation of the ruling party.

Party insiders say the former presidential candidate has had a longstanding frustration with his party and the way it is run.

Mr. Ribadu was one of the few  APC chieftains who stood by Mr. Nyako during his impeachment travails.

An associate of the former EFCC chairman said after the embattled Adamawa governor was removed, Mr. Ribadu complained to close friends that Mr. Nyako fell because the APC national leadership did not rally round him strongly enough.

“Ribadu worked so hard and nearly saved the former governor because he was able to convince some members of the state Assembly to withdraw their support for the impeachment,” the associate said. “ If he had gotten the support of the national leadership of the party, all they needed was one more member and the impeachment would have collapsed.”

The associate, who asked not be named so as not to anger Mr. Ribadu for disclosing details of private conversations, said the former ACN presidential candidate complained that the APC behaved like a party that does not care about its members in trouble.

The source said at that point, Mr. Ribadu became deeply frustrated at the development in Adamawa that he contemplated withdrawing from politics entirely.

His commitment to the APC was shaken, the associate said.

Mr. Nyako now out of the way, Mr. Ribadu became the most formidable candidate the APC can present in the forthcoming governorship election in the state, but various sources suggested former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who is a leader of the party in the state, is not a fan of the former EFCC chairman and that both men are finding it difficult working together.

“As you know Ribadu once wrote a report indicting Turaki for corruption,” an official of the Adamawa State chapter of the APC told this newspaper. “Both men have yet to forget that episode and it is unlikely Ribadu will be comfortable working with the former VP in the same party.”

Another factor that may influence Mr. Ribadu’s decision on whether to heed the PDP’s call or not is the way the APC is run.

Associates of Mr. Ribadu said the politician is unhappy by the APC’s lack of ability to resolve the conflicts within its fold and the lack of internal democracy in the party.

The EFCC chairman is also said to be bitter that some leading chieftains of the party are increasingly being sidelined in the race for the presidential ticket of the party.

“Ribadu would have preferred an opportunity to contest the presidential ticket in a free and fair primary,” another associate of the politician said. “ But as it is now, the leadership of the APC has made its 2015 presidential direction clear to potential candidates, with Mr. Ribadu standing no chance.

“People always talk about integrity as the reason why he should not join the PDP, but what has that earned him in the APC? Despite his popular appeal, the leaders have not given him his deserved place,” he said.

Mr. Ribadu, PREMIUM TIMES gathered, has for long refused overtures from the PDP.

However, his loyalists believe the former presidential candidate “ has gained nothing for his loyalty.

“Even people he supported for party leadership in both Adamawa and national level were rejected by some powerful forces, in favour of their cronies.

“If you look at it, all this while there have been flying allegations about how some prominent APC leaders sold him out in the then ACN but he has always dismissed the allegations as a mark of respect to them,” the source added.

The Elders’ Factor

Another side to the unfolding drama  is what a source described as “overwhelming pressure from some notable individuals and elites from Adamawa and beyond.”

“Some of these individuals, who have been agitating for Mr. Ribadu to jettison his presidential ambition and vie for Adamawa governorship instead, have now added a caveat to their pledge of support by asking him to declare under the PDP which they see as a more formidable platform in the current equation,” he said.

Mr. Ribadu consulting

When contacted, Mr. Ribadu’s media aide, Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, admitted that the former EFCC chairman is under intense pressure from different quarters.

“Consultations are still on and I believe he will make public his stance at the appropriate time. We should first tarry a while to reach the bridge before crossing it.

“Remember that he is yet to personally declare his interest in the governorship race, more so of a platform. In addition he has an offer from an international organisation which he is also looking at.

“But in all these, his watchword is how he can be of use to his people and his country.”

The secretary of the PDP in Adamawa State, A.T. Shehu, said the party would welcome Mr. Ribadu into its fold.

“We have not received any communication to that effect but the news of a personality like Nuhu Ribadu is a plus to any party.

“No right thinking party will turn down the request of Nuhu Ribadu to join the party. He has made name for himself. He was a Presidential aspirant, one-time EFCC boss who did his job with great determination and commitment.

“Certainly no party will close its door to such a man,” he said.

The secretary however said as a party that respects its constitution and manifesto, Mr. Ribadu would not be given preferential treatment.

“That Nuhu Ribadu has made name does not give him the automatic ticket to be the party’s flag bearer. Those of us in the party that have shown interest to vie for the governorship ticket are equally very good materials”.

Also, the spokesperson of the APC in the state, Phinas Padio, said the defection of politicians from one party to another is normal, adding however, that Mr. Ribadu remained a member of the APC.

“As far as we are concern, news of the defection of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu remains a  rumour. He has not communicated his wish to leave the party to anyone here,” he said.


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    Ribadu in PDP? Hmmmmmmmm.

    Let him beware of these overtures, because things are not always what they seem.

    Having said that, he is free to join at party of his choice, and one can only wish him well

  • King Carlos

    True true, what has his loyalty to APC brought him, however, i will advise him to take a clu from Peter Obi, he wined and dined with the PDP thinking that he would be appointed as a minister, but he was dumped at the last minute. There might be similar plan for Ribadu. He should not trust this PDP politicians.

    • redeem

      Did Peter Obi tell u that he was dumped by Jonathan–do u know whether the man has presidential ambition-? As for Ribadu–i said it severally that he is no presidential material—if he could not influence the sack of Nyako-the way he impeached Alams d former governor of bayelsa state–then of what use is he to PDP? Besides why should the so-called anti corruption cruder be defending a thief like Nyako for? See the trouble with Nigerians–9jas will tell u they are after creating a corruption free society–but when Fulani rogues like Sanusi steal–the same forces that shout thief thief on top of their voices- when its a man from d SS-often keep quiet when it concerns the fulani rogues–Adamawa state was not created for the fulanis alone—-there are other ethnic groups in that state also–interested in d seat of power-tribalism again abi

  • solomon

    rIBADU going back to his vomit shameless liar he is.


  • Ekpenyong Aniefiok

    Fellow Nigerian Citizens,

    On behalf of the patriotic and well-meaning peoples of the Middle Belt and the southern parts of this
    country, I , Major Gideon Orkar, wish to happily informyou of the successful ousting of the dictatorial, corrupt, drug baronish, evil man, deceitful, homo-sexually-c­­entered, prodigalistic, un-patriotic administration of General Ibrahim Babangida…

    Our history is replete with numerous and uncontrollable instances of callous and insensitive dominatory repressive intrigues by those who think it is their birthright to dominate till eternity the political and economic privileges of this great country to the exclusion of the people of the Middle Belt and the south.

    We are extremely determined to recover all ill-gotten wealth back to the public treasury for the use of the masses of our people. .. We are fully in control…All airports, seaports and borders are closed forthwith.

    April 22,1990.


      you are in Nigeria and with a man that has a hausa-yoruba origins, do you think igbos and niger delta immigrant-criminals can make him even wave an eyebrow? go and study well.

  • Dr Patrick Kolawole Awosan

    It would be the saddest day in Mr Nuhu Ribadu’s life if Ribadu should make a mistake of crossing over to PDP right to his stinking vomit with the way PDP under Ebele Jonathan embarrassed Nuhu Ribadu when he accepted to head a committee for Ebele Jonathan,that Jonathan disgraced Nuhu Ribadu and the report of the committee was dumped while Steven Oronsaye minority-report was accepted by Mr Ebele Jonathan, that Ribadu was blamed for not doing a proper job as committee chairman.Nuhu Ribadu might live to bite his upper-finger bitterly if he ever cross over to PDP.With Mr Nuhu Ribadu’s reputation nationally,being a former ACN-presidential candidate,now being pushed to cross-over to PDP?Ribadu must exercise common-sense and acute intelligence on this decisive vital issue.



    • redeem

      Who made ribadu to become that which he is not–in 9ja today–again who is ribadu–beyond—the neck of the fulani governors that he saved–was he able to arrest one single fulani governor from the north for corruption-i begi—was it not under the same Obj PDP government that he served which made him become the little that he is today-after being dashed oil blocks by Obj-whih late Yaradua seized’? Again was ribadu not called upon to work for Jonathan-and -did he say no–methinks ribadu is just flying a kite–it was ribadu who sponsored this publication-for none would have known about ribadu a fulani like Nyako ati Atiku if not for PDP–was Nyako himself not taking to court by ACN-under the leadership of tinubu–ribadu is of no use to the PDP–he was crated by PDP for APC—————————and PDP will be making a mistake to filed him–he should start from local government council election–that is what he is good for–chairman of an LGA-

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      It would be a sad day indeed, if one of the few Nigerian politicians with a modicum of integrity, were to dash away that integrity so lightly.

      MNR, would be better off preserving his name and integrity for the future rather than trading it away for instant gratification.

      Aside this, it is almost certain that even after spending time as a PDP governor, he would never be allowed to become a PDP Presidential aspirant.

      Politically, he is better off in APC, warts and all, because integrity must always count for something. He can afford to ignore the likes of FFK who would always remain political jobbers with very little ambition to serve.

      A word for the wise.

    • Paul Oseretin [Benin city]

      PDP is more amenable to democratic reforms; as a political party, whereas APC is not reformable at all, with its integral Jihad mentality. APC has no slight chance of ever becoming a democratic political party. APC is private property.

  • wode

    Ribadu should note that he has a future as well as goodwill. He should be well discerning in his move, else he’d lose all his credibility.

  • TrueNja

    Things work for a reason. May be God want to use Ribadu to clean PDP corruption.

  • Enemona

    Please Ribadu, please and please, don’t do it.

  • uduakomiri

    Don’t touch it Ribadu, it’s a poisoned charlice

  • Ibeleme

    See the gang of persuaders this report described as his long term friends….Ahmed Muazu, Aliyu Modibbo, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Akin Osuntokun; and Femi Fani-Kayode …apparently Ribadu was long lost in the woods, now he is finally back home , where he truly belongs.

  • bangiso mhlabeni

    Eish… Ribadu is not needed in PDP at this time because he will work against GEJ. Marwa is better.

  • olu

    Ribadu beware of Greek Gift!

  • Ijeuwa

    Ribadu is a clown. He’ll bite the PDP bait for sure!


    I salute Ribadu for his courage and boldness. The vision and foresight of those who are true leaders must be above average. Leaders are able to foresee beyond the people they are expected to lead. Ribadu understands that the self appointed leaders of APC like Tinubu and Kwankwaso are mere pretenders; they are only using the sentiment of gullible Nigerians to achieve self interest.

    The very day crooks like Kwankwaso joined APC, I knew that the party is doomed. Kwankwaso is a professional crook of monumental dimension. He’s also a cheat and betrayer. Look at how he is busy contesting for the presidential ticket of APC to the detriment of General Buhari.

    It is unfortunate for people like Elrufai. He’s bound to remain in APC for protection against imprisonment for his past misdeeds. This is the only reason why he’s in opposition politics.

  • Nigerian

    Thanks, Well said.