NUHU RIBADU MAY EMERGE PDP CHAIR

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Weeks after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was defeated in the 2015 general elections, indications have emerged that the pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, may emerge its next chairman.
LEADERSHIP learnt that the leaders of the PDP are zeroing in on Ribadu because of the public perception that he has integrity to match that of Buhari who is now APC’s leader which could be used as a bargaining edge in successive elections.
PDP apparatchiks believe that the party lost the last general election because of President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption credentials.
The PDP national convention where Ribadu and other Board of Trustees (BoT) members of the party will emerge is billed for August.
“The leadership of the party is looking at somebody with a good track record of doggedness, straight forwardness and somebody that is not easily intimidated. Nuhu Ribadu fits the profile,” a PDP insider said.
The source further disclosed that at a time when a resolute president, in the person of Muhammadu Buhari, is at the helm of the nation’s affairs, the PDP, now in the opposition, cannot afford to have somebody of questionable character or somebody who does not command the respect on the masses as its leader.
Ribadu earned the respect of the masses while serving as EFCC chairman because of the reasonable number of high profile cases the commission was able to pursue, leading to a situation where Nigerians became wary of engaging in corrupt practices.
LEADERSHIP recalls that Ribadu, who was the PDP governorship candidate in Adamawa State, also enjoys the blessing of former President Goodluck Jonathan and some other party stalwarts.
Ribadu is also believed to have a good understanding of the inner workings of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), having been a presidential candidate of the defunct Action Congress Nigeria (now part of the APC) in the 2011 general elections.
PDP has been embroiled in one crisis or the other since its poor performance at the last general elections.
The party chieftains, who are expected to have learnt a major lesson from the PDP’s pre-election internal crisis, appear to have been divided over the real reasons the party failed at the polls.
Some PDP governors, including Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, insisted that members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) must resign to give room for fresh crop of leaders to manage the affairs of the party.
The PDP, which previously had a majority status at the National Assembly and had 21 state governors before the general elections, is desperate to reclaim the status of ‘ruling party’ from the APC.
Many have expressed doubts in PDP’s ability to perform the role of an opposition party, saying the party might not be able to recover from the defeat because its leaders were not committed to the party.
Bent on reversing its dismal electoral fortunes, the PDP leaders accepted the defeat and forced members of the Adamu Mu’azu-led NWC to vacate office before the expiration of their tenure.
Those calling for the PDP national chairman’s ouster were said to be pushing for the South-South to produce Mu’azu’s replacement.
Names like those of former governors, Dr Peter Odili (Rivers), Mr Liyel Imoke (Cross River) and Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), were bandied as likely replacement until the latest development threw up Ribadu’s name.

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