Ribadu Promises to Fight Corruption if Elected
CHANNELS TELEVISION, LAGOS
September 20, 2010 0:00 am
The pioneer anti-graft boss declared that not only would he contest the presidency come 2011, but he will also make flushing out of corruption the focal point of his administration should he become the president.
Mallam Ribadu who was speaking at a conference organized by “Team Ribadu”, a group of young volunteers to ensure that he becomes the president also denied allegations that he is being used by President Goodluck Jonathan to divide the votes in the Northern part of the country, Mr. Ribadu says he will never go behind to negotiate the fate of Nigerians.
He also dismissed the long-held belief that the EFCC investigated the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, for money laundering.
Ribadu promised that Nigeria would become a new country within two years if he is elected. Although, Ribadu said he was yet to decide on which platform he would run, he passionately said he had a dream for a new Nigeria. He said he wants to see a “new thing, a fresh thing” and build a nation out of the country.
“I have a dream of a new Nigeria, a changed Nigeria; I want to see if there is a possibility of opening a new chapter and those who are in charge somehow certainly need to give chance for the country to move forward,” he said.
His areas of priority, he said, would be security, fighting corruption, providing electricity, improving education, building hospitals and helping Nigeria become an industrialised nation.
Giving reasons why he is running at the federal level in spite of his little or no experience in politics, Ribadu said: “I have experience in public service. I put 25 years of my life into service to the Federal Government of Nigeria in the executive capacity. After that, of course, I served outside Nigeria, I worked and have acquired international experience.
“I had the chance to set up an agency and ran it for five years and I was in the economic team as well as a federal prosecutor, probably more than any other person in that capacity. I was a police officer, a public worker, I put all my life to service in the federal level and it is really natural for you to put all of that into where the experience best fits, yes I will contest for the presidency.”
Asked how he intends to fund his campaign, he explained that contributions from ordinary Nigerians would be used by his team.
Ribadu also denied allegations that he mishandled a corruption case against Dame Patience, when her husband, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, was governor of Bayelsa State.
He said that it was propaganda to taint his image and that of Jonathan during the 2007 polls.
Ribadu explained that the EFCC never handled any case against Patience. “The case had to do with a lady and a man who lodged huge sums of money in the bank. The EFCC was alerted by the bank and an investigation was carried out,” he said.
According to him, it was found that they legitimately earned the money through contracts executed in the state. All the reports in the media were lies, he insisted.
“For instance, it was initially reported that N70 million was lodged into the bank. Later, it was reported that the money ran into millions of dollars. Such was the extent of the lies,” he said, maintaining: “We never handled a case against Patience Jonathan.” Ribadu said.