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2011: I WILL VIE FOR PRESIDENCY – RIBADU

By NBF News

Former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, on Thursday ended several weeks of speculations about his rumoured political ambition and said he would vie for the presidency in the forthcoming election.

Although Ribadu did not say on which party platform he intends to pursue his presidential ambition, he said he was doing the necessary consultation and would shortly make public whatever decision he arrives at, given the shortness of time before the election billed for next January.

He however insisted that whatever platform he chooses eventually must be national in outlook. He said he never had the membership card of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), thus suggesting that he might have to look outside the ruling party for the actualization of his presidential dream.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja, the former police officer said his quest for the highest political office in the land was borne out of a burning zeal to remake Nigeria, and wean it from the perennial problems of corruption, insecurity and general backwardness.

In plunging into the presidential race, Ribadu said he was being motivated by his desire to be part of the team that would save Nigeria and give it a new lease of life, saying his team would be the best that Nigeria could offer.

'I won't 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,' Ribadu who spent two years outside the country when he fell out with the Yar'Adua administration, stated.

He spoke of his desire to re-make Nigeria, saying that his presidential aspiration 'will be a fresh chance for us to re-make ourselves. I want to make a nation out of our country.' He said solving the lingering problems of insecurity and power nightmare would be his topmost priority.

Ribadu said he was working in concert with Nigerians who share his vision of a better Nigeria, which all would be proud to call their own, and insisted he was neither intimidated by the power of incumbency enjoyed by the present occupant of the office nor the enormous clout of other contenders like Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, both retired.

Reminded that it could turn out to be a David versus Goliath contest, he retorted: 'And David won eventually, eh?'

Describing himself as a fighter, he stated: '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 gangstars; 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.'

Rather than give way for the big names, Ribadu said his dream of a new Nigeria would be possible if those who are there now could give way. He said: '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.

The former anti-graft war boss said it would be wrong to dismiss him as a rookie, and challenged those who hold such view to tell him of any Nigerian past leader that had as much experience as he had in public service.

'I have been in public service all my live, for more than 25 years. Tell me one single president who had that experience before becoming the president,' he said, adding that he was part of the economic team that managed the Nigerian economy for four years.

Ribadu also rubbished stories in some quarters that he once investigated First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan while her husband was governor in Bayelsa State, saying nothing could have been farther from the truth.