Ribadu in surprise visit to Bisi Akande, says politics not reason to cut off ties

Nuhu Ribadu and two of Mr. Akande's granddaughters at Ila-Orangun on Sunday

A former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nuhu Ribadu, on Sunday showed up at the Ila-Orangun country home of a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bisi Akande, for what he called a “catch up visit to a father and elder statesman”.

Mr. Akande was the interim chairman of the ruling APC and was the national chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, under which Mr. Ribadu vied for Nigeria’s presidency in 2011.

Mr. Ribadu, who arrived at Mr. Akande’s compound at around 1:30pm along with a friend, Kashim Imam, went straight into a closed-door session with the APC chieftain.

However, not long after they went in, the trio emerged into a meeting of some local APC officials who had gathered for a Christmas visit to Mr. Akande.

Former Governor Akande dragged Mr. Ribadu into the local APC meeting.

Several participants at the meeting expressed excitement with Mr. Ribadu’s presence at the APC chieftain’s residence with many of them calling on him to rejoin the APC, which he helped found.

Mr. Ribadu who was pressured to speak at the meeting said he was at Ila-Orangun to reconnect with Mr. Akande who he described as a father and statesman.

“Baba Akande is a very important person to all of us. He is a father in the true sense of the word. From the day I decided to venture into politics I have benefited from his guidance and wisdom.

“I have not seen Baba in a long time so I feel this is a good time to come and greet him at home. Of course I have never been far away from Baba’s fountain of wisdom. Party differences cannot be a reason to abandon old ties,” Mr. Ribadu said.

He eulogised Mr. Akande and the people of the community while recalling the overwhelming support and affection he was shown by the people of Osun State during his 2011 presidential bid.

Speaking briefly at the meeting, Mr. Akande said he could not have enough time with the participants because “I have these very special guests that I have to go and entertain”.

According to Mr. Akande, Mr. Ribadu’s visit was not political but “as an extended member of this community I said he should come and greet you”.

Mr. Ribadu later went for another round of private discussions with Mr. Akande before he was chauffeured out of Ila-Orangun at around 4pm.


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