The All Progressives Congress [APC] has expressed disappointment over the defection of one of its chieftains, Nuhu Ribadu, to the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP], describing the development as “very terrible.”
The party however wished him luck in his new party.
Mr. Ribadu, a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, decamped to the ruling party on Saturday.
A member of the executive committee of the PDP in Bako, Mr. Ribadu’s ward in Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa, had told this newspaper that the former EFCC boss had registered as a member of the party and given party membership card.
Mr. Ribadu, a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, was the presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in the 2011 elections.
The ACN merged with the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, the Congress for Progressives Change, CPC, and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.
Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview on Sunday, the National Chairman of the APC, John Odigie-Oyegun, said he was not disappointed by Mr. Ribadu’s action, but that it merely confirmed the level to which the Nigerian society had degenerated.
“It makes me sad because it is very terrible thing. It is a confirmation of the level to which our society has degenerated,” he said.
“For a man of that calibre to fall into that trap because of governorship position is disappointing. There is no problem; we wish him luck.”
Asked why it was disappointing, the APC national chairman said, “Don’t you see what this represents – that a man of his calibre will fall for the temptation?
“I hope you understand the point I am making. I am not sad because of the APC, but because it reflects on the condition of the Nigerian elite and the kind of things they fall for.
“For the APC, there is no problem. People go, people come, but for this nation, it is a very sad commentary. It makes you unhappy.”
On whether the APC leadership made any effort to dissuade Mr. Ribadu from leaving the party, Mr. Oyegun merely said, “People spoke with him,” adding “I don’t want to say more than that.”
He however said, “The time has come when we should have politicians of principle. We cannot continue like this.
“The society is sick. We shouldn’t encourage things like this. It indicates democracy is lacking in that party.
“For a man of his calibre to say the things he has said on record and still did this, is disappointing. If he had done this six months ago that would have been understandable. But just because of nomination, you fell for it, even if it is the main election. (Buba) Marwa is there; the Speaker is there.
“This is rock bottom. Haba wetin! The disconnection is too direct.”
The APC national chairman was not definite if the party would initiate any effort to get the former EFCC chairman back into the party.
“That is not the issue,” he said. “If you want to get him back, you offer him what the people are offering him.
“I’m not disappointed because I’m APC or because of where he is going. But for a man of that calibre who has said things on record and yet went in this direction is disappointing.”