More facts have emerged of why former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, held a private meeting with a former Interim Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Bisi Akande.
Ribadu, who contested the 2011 presidential election on the platform of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, (ACN), visited Akande at his residence in Ila-Orangun on Sunday evening and discussed with him for a few hours.
The visit immediately set the rich rumour mill in top gear linking it to the possibility of the imminent defection of the former anti-graft boss to the ruling APC. Ribadu had in the contest for last general election defected from the APC to the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on whose platform he vied for the governorship of his home state of Adamawa but lost to the APC candidate, Jibrilla Bindow.
Impeccable sources told Daily Times that though the issue of possible defection came up briefly in abstract, topmost of the agenda was the treatment meted out to Ribadu when he flew the flag of the defunct (ACN) in 2011.
Ribadu was said to have used the opportunity to complain bitterly about being shortchanged during the polls when his party dumped him for the candidature of the PDP, then President Goodluck Jonathan, who was seeking his first shot at the Presidency after completing the term of his late boss, Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua.
It was only Osun State out of all the states in the south west where ACN enjoys wide acceptability that voted for Ribadu. This might be why the former Anti-Corruption boss is visiting Osun.
He was said to have expressed his utmost respect for Akande whom he holds in highest esteem and urged to prevail on the other leaders in the south to ensure that such thing never re-occurred while something is done to compensate him for his humiliation.
It was learnt that last Sunday, Ribadu visited Akande in company with the National Secretary of the APC, Mallam Mai Bala Buni.
A source close to the meeting said: “He was there on Sunday. I was told he (Ribadu) and the national secretary of the APC visited Chief Akande together.
“It is difficult to say if he is defecting to our party because I was not there but we won’t ask him not to come if he wants to come.”
The Director of Publicity and Strategy of the PDP in Osun State, Mr. Diran Odeyemi, who also said he heard that Ribadu visited Akande however, berated the former anti-corruption agency boss for allegedly “going back and forth”.
He said, “I was told he visited Ila-Orangun but is Ila his local government, where he is supposed to announce his defection?
“Ribadu has never proved to be a loyal party man. He joined the PDP from the ACN and he is going back now. He is not somebody to be depended upon when it comes to politics.”
Ribadu was a governorship candidate of the PDP in Adamawa State in the April 11, 2015 election.
Speaking after the meeting, Ribadu said he was at Ila-Orangun to reconnect with Akande, who he described as a father and statesman.
His words: “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,” Ribadu said.
He eulogised Akande, a former Osun State governor, 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.