By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
ABUJA—FORMER Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, revealed, yesterday, that he would contest the 2011 presidential election to give Nigeria a much needed change from the old order of corruption, insecurity and economic backwardness.
Ribadu who was addressing newsmen in Abuja on his determination to run for the presidential elections said that groups of like minds who wanted a change in the nation were working with him to actualize the dream of a prosperous country that would be the pride of all Nigerians.
The anti-graft czar, however, did not mention the party platform he would use, but assured that he would make it public within a short time, especially given the limited time between now and the election.
He said: “I am still consulting but it is going to be very soon that we are going to make a decision on that because there is no time. Like I said, the responsibility of all of us coming together must be exhausted to see that we have a chance in such a way that we can move in our country a platform that is going to be national.”
Ribadu, however, ruled out the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as a platform, as according to him he would reveal many things to Nigerians about PDP.
He said: “There will be a lot of time to talk and so much to talk about. There is so much to talk about PDP, to educate Nigerians about PDP.”
The former EFCC boss said he had a dream of a new Nigeria where infrastructure facilities are efficient and Nigerians, irrespective of ethnic background or faith would be secured and prosper, adding: “I have a dream of a new Nigeria and I have a dream to change Nigeria. I want to see if there is possibility of opening a new chapter for the country and those who are in charge somehow certainly need to give chance for the country to move forward.
“My team is going to be the best that Nigeria offers. Whether you are old or new, it has to be the best of Nigerians and I want to be part of that team that will certainly save our country and give it a new lease of life. I won’t want to categorise it as a generational thing but certainly, you know where I am now. If you want to judge by that I want to see the possibility of capturing the vision of the majority of Nigerians who are disenchanted and I certainly belong to that group.”
Asked if his decision to contest the election against serving President, Goodluck Jonathan; former Heads of State, Generals Muhammadu Buhari and Ibrahim Babangida as well as former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, did not amount to a David and Goliath battle, he simply said: “David enh”.
On whether he was not scared that corrupt people would fight to stop him, Ribadu said: “I have always been fighting in my life. When I was in the police force, I fought armed robbers physically with guns I survived. I fought gangsters, I fought 419 fraudsters; I fought big-time corrupt people I have survived, I am still standing Nuhu Ribadu, I believe I will also survive this.”
Ribadu said he paraded the best qualifications among the contestants and was convinced that he had what it would require to give Nigeria a new lease of life, going by his antecedents, experience and exposure both in Nigeria and at the international level.
He noted: “I have experience in public service. I have put 25 years of my life into the service of the Federal Government of Nigeria in the executive capacity. After that of course I served outside of Nigeria. I worked and acquired international experience. I had the opportunity to set up an agency.
I ran it for five years, I was in the economic team (of the Obasanjo government); I was a federal prosecutor and remain there longer than any other person. I was a police officer, a community worker. Tell me which president of this country who had that experience before coming into office?”
Ribadu said he would make security, power and education his priority, explaining that they hold the key that would unlock the potentials of the Nigerian economy, adding:
“I want to re-make Nigeria. It will be a fresh chance for us to re-make ourselves. I want to make a nation out of our country. Immediately I will insist that we have security. No time to waste on that. I want to see that immediately we solve our power problem.