Ribadu used North’s money for oil ex­plo­ration — Maitama Sule

Daily Trust - - NEWS -

Am­bas­sador Yusuf Maitama Sule has ex­tolled the virtues of Nige­ria’s first Min­is­ter of De­fence, Muham­madu Ribadu, de­scrib­ing him as a true Nige­rian who as a min­is­ter in charge of petroleum gladly used money sourced from the North for oil ex­plo­ration in the Niger Delta against a sug­ges­tion to the con­trary.

Speak­ing at the com­mis­sion­ing cer­e­mony of the Ribadu Can­ton­ment, now re­named Ribadu Cam­pus yes­ter­day at the old site of the Nige­rian De­fence Academy (NDA), Maitama Sule said Ribadu was a true Nige­rian and a sta­bi­liz­ing force in the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the coun­try.

He said, “Pa Ribadu was the sta­bi­liz­ing force in the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Nige­ria. He was not the prime min­ster, he was not the pre­mier of the north but, he was the leader of lead­ers. He was a strong man of his party. He was a true Nige­rian be­fore he be­came Min­is­ter of De­fence, Min­is­ter of Mines and Power. I suc­ceeded him in 1959. As min­is­ter of Mines and Power, he was in charge of petroleum. It was dur­ing his time that Shell started ex­plor­ing for oil in Nige­ria.

“In­deed, when north­ern Nige­ria’s money was used to pay the cen­tral gov­ern­ment’s con­tri­bu­tion to the ex­plo­ration of oil and he was ad­vised that the money should be used ei­ther in an in­vest­ment or a loan, so that when the oil comes, the north could ben­e­fit from it, this great Nige­rian said, ‘No, we are all Nige­ri­ans and if money from the north is used to de­velop a part of the coun­try we are happy that we are help­ing our brothers’. Pa Ribadu was what I call him, a na­tive in­tel­lec­tual. He was a great man.”

Maitama Sule com­mended the NDA, for hon­our­ing Ribadu and prayed that the gov­ern­ment of the fed­er­a­tion will do the same.

High­lights of the event were a tree plant­ing cer­e­mony where 10,000 trees are to be planted and the com­mis­sion­ing of the NDA mag­a­zine.

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