Former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Malam Nuhu Ribadu has faulted those who believe that the problems the nation is facing today is a result of its tribal, religious and social diversity, arguing however that such ought to be the real strength upon which the nation can draw.
Ribadu who spoke yesterday at a public lecture to mark the official opening of a new Law office building of Tayo Oyetibo & co: Solicitors and Barristers in Lagos, added that the nations that have faced more critical crisis across the world are those with common language and religion.
Reflecting on the theme, ‘The Social Contract: Which way Nigeria’, the former EFCC boss cited the cases of Rwanda and Somalia, one a Christian country with a single language, but with only two tribes and the other a mostly Muslim country with a common language yet both experienced crisis of unimaginable proportion.
“Those who think that the problem with Nigeria is its diversity are getting it all wrong, the most prosperous and strong nation in the world today is America and America is also the most diversified country in the world.”
Ribadu also took the opportunity to reflect on his sojourn in the EFCC and how he was able to regain his rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police and have his dismissal reversed.
“I’m here today not just to honour my brother Barrister Tayo Oyetibo, SAN, but to sincerely express a depth of gratitude for his selfless contributions to my personal and public service career. My relationship with this remarkable lawyer is one for which I must forever remain grateful.
“He has stood with me, believed in my causes while I was at EFCC and dedicated his time and resources to representing us pro bono. Among Barrister Oyetibo’s many historic victories was in my case with the Nigerian Police Force in which he challenged my dismissal in court and had the decision reversed and my ranks restored. This is a huge favour which I may never be able to repay, except with these tokens of gratitude.
“I want to seize this opportunity to thank the brilliant lawyers and brothers who stood for us and provided us with their free legal service at the EFCC, especially at the time we were under tremendous pressures in our struggles to carry out assignments considered impossible by detractors. These are distinguished lawyers and models for the practising and aspiring lawyers.,” he said.
Presenting a lecture at the event a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Hon. Justice George Oguntade bemoaned a situation where government officials live in opulence when the people lack basic needs of life.
He berated government officials who appoint high number of aides to do the job that can easily be done by a much fewer number of persons and thereby saving money to meet the basic needs of the citizenry.
“I believe that in Nigeria today a governor does not need more than 10 commissioners to perform effectively in office and there is also the need to reduce the number of aides, so that the money saved from there can be used to run the state, because with the way we arwe going, there is no way the country can proper,” he said