By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor & Henry Umoru
Former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and until recently All Progressives Congress, APC, chieftain, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu has said that he would not taunt his former associates in the APC such as Governors Rotimi Amaechi and Rabiu Kwankwanso.
Ribadu in a statement, yesterday, also claimed that his defection to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is to establish good governance in the country.
His claim of pursuit of good governance in the ruling PDP is despite his assertion four months ago when he claimed that he considered it a personal insult to insinuate that he would leave the APC purportedly for the PDP.
Following his defection to the PDP, Ribadu in a statement, yesterday, also pledged not to antagonise his former associates in the APC even as he denied a statement credited to him where he had purportedly disparaged Governors Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State.
In the statement posted on his facebook page, Ribadu, the 2011 presidential candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, one of the legacy parties that formed the APC, Ribadu said:
“I know how difficult it may be for you to come to terms with my defection to another party. But I must assure you that it’s a carefully considered decision for which I do not wish to hurt anyone’s feeling.
I’ll not embark on a needless animosity with my good friends, irrespective of political, religious, regional and ethnic affiliations.”
“Let me quickly make it known that I did not issue a statement disparaging APC and its members, including Governors Amaechi, Kwankwaso… These were clearly fabricated, expected backlash, by mischievous characters interested in misleading the public and drawing a picture of non-existent feuds between me and my good friends.
“My defection shouldn’t be seen as an initiation of political antagonism with my good friends in another party. I still hold them in high esteem, and even where there are marked differences, I believe there are decorous and honourable ways of resolving them. So, kindly disregard any statement said to be by me attacking the personality of any politician since my defection. I’ll never allow myself to be drawn into such disrespectful exchange.
“As for my next step in this political struggle, this would be made known in due time. For now, I wish to assure you that my defection is in pursuit of a good cause, and never out of any selfish interests as portrayed by a section.
“Thanks for bearing with me on this decision, and for those who have been in solidarity with my struggles and still giving me the benefits of the doubt, I’m most grateful. I’ll never let you down on this new path.”
With reactions to Ribadu’s defection still generating mixed reactions, it emerged, yesterday, that the former oppositionist four months ago said that it was a personal insult on him to allege that he would defect from the APC.
In a posting on his facebook page on April 9, Ribadu had said: “I felt personally insulted by rumours making the rounds in this space over my alleged intention to dump my party, the All Progressives Congress, APC. There is no iota of truth in that malicious falsehood being peddled by persons who do not wish me and my great party any good.
“I am a committed member of APC and I have no reason to lose confidence in the party. For the past seven days, I have been in my state of Adamawa helping to see to the smooth conduct of ward congresses and other coming elections.
“I urge all my friends here to disregard that rumour as what it is; cheap blackmail from mischievous persons.”
Only four weeks ago, Ribadu on his facebook wall had also praised his “friend and brother,” Rauf Aregbesola on what he said were the good works of the governor in Osun State.
“My Friend and Brother, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, is leading the Broom Revolution in Osun State and delivering Government Unusual. I am glad the people are totally behind him and will massively vote for him come August 9th.”
Meanwhile, ahead the October 11 gubernatorial election in Adamawa State, the national leadership of the PDP is set to rake one N154 million from sale of forms to contest for the primary election where the party’s flag bearer would emerge.
The sale of forms closed yesterday, as return of forms holds today while the ward congress are fixed for September 1; Ward Appeal, September3; State Congress September 6; appeal September 8, with screening of aspirants to hold September 28 and appeal, September 30.
The national leadership of the PDP had since the sale of forms for Anambra State governorship election held November 16, 2013, pegged the nomination form at N10 million while the Expression of Interest form was sold for N1 million.
Women are expected to purchase only the Expression of Interest form N1 million while the nomination form is given to them free in line with the norms of the party, but in the case of Adamawa State, no woman picked either of the forms to contest for the most exalted position in Adamawa State.
As at the close of sale of forms, yesterday, at the PDP National Secretariat, Vanguard gathered that 14 aspirants purchased the forms.
Those who bought forms, according to the record at the Mobilisation office in the office of the National Organising Secretary and obtained by Vanguard, yesterday, are the Acting Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri; a three time gubernatorial aspirant, Dr. Umar Ardo; former Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; Senator Abubakar Girei; former Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Political Matters, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak; erstwhile Military Administrator of Lagos and Borno states, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa and former Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Dr. Aliyu Idi-Hong.
Others are: the immediate Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, Dr. Ahmed Modibbo Mohammed; son of former PDP National Chairman, Awwal Bamanga Tukur; Marcus Natina Gundiri; James Shuiabu Barka; Jerry Kundusi; Engr. Brig. Gen. A.A.V. Kana and Andrawus Sawa.