Posted by News Express | 16 August 2014 | 3,158 times
There are more troubles for former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu ahead of his planned defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The 2011 presidential candidate of the APC is expected to move to PDP in a bid to pick the party’s ticket to contest the October 11 Adamawa State governorship bye-election.
However, Saturday Sun learnt that Ribadu’s ambition appears to be hanging in the balance as the growing opposition to his likely nomination by members of the state chapter of the PDP is forcing his backers to withdraw their support. A source in the PDP, who does not want his name mentioned, disclosed that those who are drafting Ribadu to the governorship race are worried that even if they succeed in handing the PDP ticket to him, the large scale opposition to his candidature may cause the party to lose the election.
The source said: “People who are backing Ribadu are disturbed about the reaction of people in different circles to his likely nomination.”
He said the outcome of the recent Osun State governorship election has taught the PDP leadership that the party must be circumspect in the nomination of its candidate.
According to him, many in the PDP are now of the opinion that, perhaps, if the former governor of the state, Senator Isiaka Adekeke was nominated instead of Senator Iyiola Omisore, Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the APC wouldn’t have defeated PDP in the election . He argued that PDP discovered lately that Adekeke would have proven a more sellable candidate.
“Our party has learnt some lessons from the Osun election, we have learnt that we should nominate our candidate based on the reality on ground. Perhaps Adekeke would have performed better than Omisore in the election, there is some blame game going on right now”, the source said.
The source, who is a PDP chieftain and former minister said though the people backing Ribadu were able to get the presidency to support him, they are now developing cold feet towards his candidature because of his dismal performance both in his unit and state in the 2011 election. A record from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) shows that the former EFCC chairman polled six votes in his unit and 30,000 votes in the whole of Adamawa in the 2011 presidential poll. This performance, the source said has given Ribadu away as someone with little or no political influence in the state. He noted that PDP members are worried that with such low quality political clout, APC may overrun PDP in the bye- election.
Apart from winning the governorship election, the source said there is fear that Ribadu might not be able to deliver Adamawa to Jonathan in 2015 even if he is elected governor. He said: “The fear holding down everybody is that Ribadu may not be in a position to deliver the state to Adamawa. Remember that even if he wins now, he will also be contesting again in 2015, if he is somebody with little political influence, he cannot deliver the state to PDP, he will be struggling to win his own election first,” he added.
Beyond the election, the source revealed that PDP was still concerned about Ribadu’s relationship with former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the APC leadership. According to him, there are concerns that he might return to APC after being supported to win the Adamawa poll.
“Everybody is aware that he has a close relationship with Tinubu and may even return after using PDP platform to win the governorship”, he said.
He stressed that many PDP members especially in Adamawa were yet to forgive Ribadu over his recent comment that PDP is a camp of rogues. According to him, an intelligence report already available to the presidency has shown that the ex-EFCC boss still loathes the party and was convinced to move to the party because of the promise of governorship ticket.
The source claimed that some of these reasons as well as the intense pressure from well placed quarters have forced Ribadu’s backers to consider withdrawal of their support for his governorship ambition. The source stated that the youth group still campaigning for the defection of Ribadu to PDP may have turned the blind eye to the reality on ground because “they need to justify the campaign logistics already made available to them.”
•Credit: Saturday Sun. Photo shows Nuhu Ribadu.
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