When I read that Nuhu Ribadu, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) flag bearer, expressed regret for agreeing to step down for his Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari, I wept for my country just like Buhari did recently. I even wept more because I felt the future of our youths has been jeopardised and put to question by Ribadu's actions so far.
So many things went through my mind. For instance; was IBB right about our youths? What hope for the youths in taking the country forward? Should we continue to depend on our fathers even when we are of age? Should our fathers even continue to lead us? Why can't they just leave us to carry on? Don't our fathers think they have done enough damage? Why can't they just leave us alone?
But I also thought in my mind; whether we are the ones giving them the chance to do what they are doing to us. Or is it that we are so tied to them through the umbilical cord of corruption that we are afraid to go it alone else we are exposed?
I remember the vice presidential candidate to Buhari, Pastor Bakare saying once that they will expose Ribadu when the time comes. Many of us asked when will be the time. Or were they just politicking? But it appears they have without telling us what has transpired undercut a poor youthful Ribadu. So where is his desire to make a change now?
If you ask me, I will say I am not at all surprised about the results of what has happened so far. What I am actually surprised about is the failure of Ribadu to see beyond his immediate ambition, his non tact and his naivety in this political game. This is some one who has been fighting against corrupt politicians and 419ers. Yet he failed to see the booby-trap set for him by those he had been prosecuting.
But come to think of it; why should a young Ribadu who has been clamouring for generational change step down for an aged Buhari? I believe there is more to it than just political calculation to beat the PDP candidate Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Many people have said that all the political parties are the same. There is no difference in their quest to rule the country and stay in power. There is even no difference in what they want to provide for Nigerians i.e. water, light, infrastructure, good roads and education.
I understand Mr. Ribadu said he was willing to sacrifice his ambition but others at the meeting were not so selfless. Is it now he knows that the people he has fraternised with so far are selfless? Does Ribadu want to tell Nigerians that he believes Buhari is more acceptable to Nigerians than himself? Did Ribadu not see the performance of the ACN in the National Assembly elections? Why weren't Ribadu and his co travellers able to convince Buhari to step down for a young and youthful contender?
Reading the news reports, it baffled me that Ribadu did not lead the ACN delegation in the discussion while Buhari did for CPC. So what does that indicate? How much power does Ribadu wield in his ACN? I believe there is still much more we will hear later.
A friend reminded me that if you move Raji Fashola to Ogun State, he will perform. Similarly, if you move Rotimi Amaechi to Borno State he will perform as well. This is because they have shown individual zeal to develop their states. These are youthful governors who can transcend to become presidents if given the chance. So there is still some hope for the Nigerian youth.
A few Nigerians want to oust the PDP by all means. As a result, they have shown they can go any length to achieve this even at the detriment of what they profess to believe in. We have heard of the attempted coming together of political parties especially the ACN and the CPC or even ANPP. We have also heard how it has been difficult because of individual differences and desires. We all know that these individuals do not love Nigeria more than the rest of the citizens. Infact, these individuals are privileged few who have enriched themselves through our national wealth.
A lot of Nigerians have been calling the ill-fated amalgamation a coalition. Some have even likened it to Lib Dems/Conservative type of coalition in the UK. But lest we forget; both Lib Dems and the Conservatives contested separately. And it was only after the elections for the want of wining numbers that they came together. I was therefore wondering what sort of coalition ACN and CPC where going into. Did they discuss any issues on their party principles or manifestoes or plans and how to achieve them? I would not think so. They would have only discussed power sharing. That is what all of them are interested in.
So in the end we see that these individuals do not really mean well for Nigeria but the individual gains they will get. I thought this is what Ribadu has been fighting against but he fell into their trap. That is why I scream Oh Ribadu!!!
Now that the Chairman of the ACN Chief Bisi Akande has declared there is no deal between the CPC and his party the ACN, I wonder what Ribadu is still standing for. To the ordinary Nigerian voter especially the youths who Ribadu displayed on his NTA adverts asking Nigerians to stand up, what are they standing up for?
Did Ribadu consult his supporters before taking the decision? I am sure no matter how calm he claims he is now, he owes his supposed numerous supporters an explanation why he decided to step down initially. And of course, how can a general run away in the war front when the bullets are flying left, right and centre?
I have one consolation that Ribadu is not a typical Nigerian youth no matter what he has claimed to be before. Let the Nigerian youths stand up for electricity, electoral reforms and be recognised with equal opportunity from Kula to Kaura Namoda.