Ribadu cre­ated en­e­mies for me –Obasanjo

Daily Trust - - NEWS -

For­mer Pres­i­dent Oluse­gun Obasanjo said the ac­tiv­i­ties of the then chair­man of the Eco­nomic and Fi­nan­cial Crimes Com­mis­sion (EFCC), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, cre­ated en­e­mies for him be­cause of the ruth­less­ness with which the lat­ter went about his as­sign­ment to ad­dress the scourge of cor­rup­tion on Nigeria.

He ad­mit­ted that fight­ing cor­rup­tion at­tracts a lot of en­e­mies but added that he has no fear of those per­sons who are still alive in Nigeria. “It is rather them that fear me,” he said.

The for­mer pres­i­dent was speak­ing from the floor af­ter a pre­sen­ta­tion on “Il­licit Fi­nan­cial Flow and Gov­er­nance of Nat­u­ral Re­sources” by Mal­lam Ribadu at the 3rd Tana High Level Fo­rum on Se­cu­rity in Africa in Badir Dar, Ethiopia, yes­ter­day.

Obasanjo, who said he made it clear to Ribadu that there should be no sa­cred cows in the fight against cor­rup­tion, re­called that the EFCC then in­ves­ti­gated him, and other people close to him, in­clud­ing his late wife.

He also nar­rated a story of how a serv­ing min­is­ter, who was his se­nior in sec­ondary school, was in­dicted and pros­e­cuted by the EFCC, adding that when the min­is­ter, was found want­ing, “there was no is­sue of se­nior again”..

Talk­ing of vested in­ter­ests in the an­ticor­rup­tion war, Obasanjo told a story for the first time of how Ribadu was once poi­soned which he said was a very se­ri­ous case that was “a mat­ter of life and death.”

The for­mer pres­i­dent, who is also the chair­per­son of the Tana Fo­rum, ree­choed Ribadu’s sub­mis­sion that at the cen­tre of anti-cor­rup­tion fight there is the need for will­ing po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship at the high­est level.

He how­ever added that the leader also needs rel­e­vant leg­is­la­tions to work with, nar­rat­ing his ex­pe­ri­ence with the bill es­tab­lish­ing ICPC which, he said, was whit­tled down by law­mak­ers who felt they could be vic­tims of the law.

In his re­marks, the Prime Min­is­ter of Ethiopia, Haile­mariam De­salegn, thanked Ribadu for his pre­sen­ta­tion, which, he said, high­lighted many good things about Nigeria dif­fer­ent from what is por­trayed in the me­dia.

In his pre­sen­ta­tion, Ribadu of­fered mea­sures African coun­tries can fol­low to tackle il­licit fi­nan­cial flows and repa­tri­ate money al­ready il­le­gally taken out of the con­ti­nents.

He said what Africa needs is hon­est and com­mit­ted lead­ers who will set ex­am­ples with them­selves by es­chew­ing cor­rup­tion and close in av­enues of il­licit fi­nan­cial flow.

Ac­cord­ing to him, it is the se­ri­ous­ness and com­mit­ment showed by the po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship that will con­vince other for­eign coun­tries to work with them to­wards re­cov­er­ing looted monies stashed abroad.

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