Ribadu Pays Surprise Visit To APC Chieftain, Bisi Akande, Says Politics Not Reason To Abandon Old Ties
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate in Adamawa State during the 2015 general elections, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, on Sunday was a visitor at the Ila-Orangun, Osun State country home of a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Bisi Akande, for what he termed a “catch up visit to a father and elder statesman”.
Akande was the interim chairman of the APC at inception and former national chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, one of the legacy parties that fused into the current governing party, under whose platform Mr. Ribadu, the pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, contested and lost the presidential election in 2011.
Mr. Ribadu was a member of the APC until his shocking defection to the PDP in 2014 to actualize his governorship ambition.
He emerged the PDP candidate amid disquiet and allegations that he was then President Goodluck Jonathan’s anointed candidate but lost woefully in the April 11 governorship polls in Adamawa, which the APC won.
The former EFCC boss, who arrived at Mr. Akande’s compound at around 1:30pm along with a friend and two-time PDP governorship candidate in Borno State, Kashim Imam, went straight into a closed-door session with the APC chieftain.
However, not long after they went in, the trio came out to join a meeting of some local APC officials, who had converged on Mr. Akande’s home for a Christmas visit.
The elder statesman dragged Mr. Ribadu into the local APC meeting.
Several participants at the meeting expressed excitement at seeing Mr. Ribadu at the country home of Mr. Akande and wasted no time in pleading with him to rejoin the APC, which he helped found.
The PDP chieftain, who was pressured to speak at the meeting, said he was at Ila-Orangun to reconnect with Mr. Akande, who he described as a father and statesman.
“Baba Akande is a very important person to all of us. He is a father in the true sense of the word. From the day I decided to venture into politics I have benefited from his guidance and wisdom.
“I have not seen Baba in a long time so I feel this is a good time to come and greet him at home. Of course I have never been far away from Baba’s fountain of wisdom. Party differences cannot be a reason to abandon old ties”, Mr. Ribadu said.
The former anti-graft czar showered encomiums on his host and the people of the community while recalling the overwhelming support and affection he was shown by the people of Osun State during his 2011 presidential bid.
Speaking briefly at the meeting, Mr. Akande said he could not have enough time with the participants because “I have these very special guests that I have to go and entertain”.
According to the APC chieftain, Mr. Ribadu’s visit was not political but “as an extended member of this community I said he should come and greet you”.
Mr. Ribadu later went in with Mr. Akande for another round of private discussions before he was chauffeured out of the APC leader’s residence at around 4pm.