The saying "What the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve over" is an old saying of the wise in English language. In routine usage it is in common circulation amongst lovers in the nest of emotional interaction. As long as a lover is not aware that he or she is being cheated upon by the counterpart, the heart would not grieve. Therefore, most lovers would just not want to know as long as the feeling of love remains true to its nature of barren purity.
It is precisely on this basis that lovers, admirers and objective observers of the activities of Chairman Nuhu Ribadu in the past few years and months will have much, not only to grieve but also to bleed over if the reputation of this young courageous man has indeed been compromised.
NigerianNews has been placed on alert in ample time and by several reliable sources many months ago, that a huge dossier has long been prepared on Nuhu Ribadu that houses a can of worms. Since this information can by and large, only qualify as a rumor, which authenticity can hardly be verified at a snap, NigerianNews opted to steer clear of reporting any such story. Amongst professionals in journalistic circles though, the rumor has long persisted with all tenacity. Sources are usually such quarters as can hardly be characterized as friendly disposed to the cause and person of Nuhu Ribadu. The question however, has never been whether or not there is truly any such dossier in existence or if there is any truth to the content of any such dossier, but when the dossier itself will be finally blown open to see the light of day.
Even though no one who is not an insider to the sinister or patriotic ploy (as the case may be) would know the precise content of this dossier, it may be safe to assume that recent events unfolding in the corridors of jurisprudence provide a hint of things to come by way of any imaginary or real Ribadu-dossier. A team of legal practitioners has been reported to have prayed an Abuja High Court Judge to mandate the investigation of the private financial capacity of the man Nuhu Ribadu in the face of incompatible ownership of a villa in Dubai and a house in Abuja (all valuing millions of dollars).
The issue remains particularly disturbing in view of the potentially damaging impact such information is bound to have not only on the image of the man Nuhu Ribadu but also on the long-drawn fight against corruption led by him and his EFCC on several Nigerian battlefronts.
Funnily, no point of substance can be made on Ribadu today, without reference to his previous boss and ÔÇśdiscoverer' Olusegun Obasanjo. It should be recalled that one minor segment of vocal and badly embittered critics of the ex-President are those people who seem to know him at close range with a better insight at the running of Aso Rock during the tenure of the former General.
Their one-sided focus mainly on hypocrisy and deceit in the activities of Olusegun Obasanjo has most often, always left observers like me furious at the shortage of some sense of objectivity. But this camp has always been resilient in hammering home some credible points of the ex-President's hilarious and ludicrous acquisition of unspeakable wealth within a short pace of time. While the neutral observer sought to have emphasis equally placed on failures and achievements as they related to the ex-President, such critics as were close to the crux of Presidential activities at the time understandably remained bitter at what they claim to have seen of systematic looting by the ex-President and were therefore, not prepared to acknowledge anything positive in the semblance of achievement. But chains of milestone achievements the ex-President does have in his favor.
The ultimate result however, is currently, a badly dented image of a beleaguered ex-President. While foreign debt repayment, satellite launch, bank reform, telecommunication breakthrough etc. count in favor of the former President, ownership of a big university with unexplained source of finance, expanded commercial empire of enterprises with unknown financial sources in addition to alleged questionable financial interests in several commercial entities credibly count against the ex-President until judicially resolved for good.
Precisely this route is the envisaged path that the author(s) of some Ribadu dossier intend to tow. In a recent discourse, I remember warning of days to come that will bear witness to accusations flying wildly Ribadu's way. It did not require a sage to smell the plot. Ribadu will very soon stand on the dock of public conscience standing accused of corruption in dimensions ever unheard of. No doubt such perpetrators will stand out like those alleged insiders of Presidential conduct in the days of Olusegun Obasanjo claiming to be aware of Ribadu's hypocrisy as a tangible reason for stubbornly refusing to credit him with any worthy success.
Even though it cannot be discounted that the EFCC as a body may have operated with a great deal of imperfection if not outright thievery perpetrated among the ranks, it may sound too simplistic to lodge all misdeeds of an entire commission squarely at the feet of a Chairman. Information now abounds that the EFCC suddenly surged into a position of extreme preference for the ranks of the police force with very many officers suddenly wanting to serve at the EFCC. This alone no doubt, smells of some skeleton in the closet.
Even though history is fortunately, unemotional and will credit Nuhu Ribadu with his courageous and daring stride in marking a huge thaw on the stiff ice of some endemic corruption, something will surely stick in this equally daring campaign against the wave of public sympathy for an imperfect, young and inspiring Ribadu.
He it was, who remarked that corruption has its own way of fighting back if you fight it too hard. But that was mere rhetoric. What the eye doesn't see, the heart will surely, not grieve over. True or untrue, an allegation remains an allegation until completely dispelled. Once heard by the public, something must be done.
There is no doubt, that Nuhu Ribadu can never in his life, have earned millions of dollars as a senior Nigerian Police Officer to buy a house in Abuja to say the least of a villa in Dubai. If this were not brought to the public's attention, no heart would grieve. As soon as this accusation sees the light of day though, nothing short of absolute clearance will address the impending damage.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives Mr. Bankole gave a shining example lately on how to confront mongers of mischievous rumors. It sounded clear and irrefutable when the rumor became public information that the Speaker did not serve in the NYSC (as if that mattered to the discharge of his duties though). I was one of those who expressed personal fascination at the depth of sound investigations some Nigerian media houses were now capable of expediting. When the Speaker finally emerged however, to release his photo as a corper in his days as well as furnish a pictured copy of his certificate of discharge, I finally learnt to take any investigation associated with Nigerian public figures with a pinch of salt.
Even though no accusation should be dismissed with a wave of the hand, extreme caution should however, be exercised in good faith, in digesting the volume and intensity of accusations that may fly Ribadu's ways in the days ahead. If such serious charges turn out to be true, nothing will be able to subvert veracity. If not ÔÇô as one good friend of mine puts it ÔÇô such perpetrators should bear in mind that they will surely answer up to the living God when their time is due!
Many are Ribadu's enemies ÔÇô born of envy and anger. Envy at rapid promotion above some ranks and anger at being exposed in the cage of corruption. At the center of all these scenarios is the bared inefficiency of the serving President who was obviously unable to make a crafty move with the sophistication of at least appearing to contain Ribadu ÔÇô no matter the differences ÔÇô at least for the sake of governmental expediency! Today, we reap scorn and suspicion from beyond the borders of our land for the mismanaged project of backdoor appeasement. The conclusion is anyone's guess.
But if Nuhu Ribadu finally turns out to have been corrupt however, then let it be on record that many hearts will be broken. History may still remain fair and balanced on him. Posterity will not.