Nuhu Ribadu & Political Action in Nigeria: Charlotte Renfield-Miller (MALD cand. 2014)

Council on Foreign Relations

This is a guest post by Charlotte Renfield-Miller; a master of arts in law and diplomacy candidate at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy specializing in development economics and human security. She is currently completing a graduate internship with the Africa Studies program at Council on Foreign Relations.

Nuhu Ribadu is a former presidential candidate who opposed Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan in the 2011 elections. As the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, he campaigned against official corruption and was well-respected within the donor community. Many outside of Nigeria were chagrined when he was dismissed from his post without credible explanation, seeing it as the federal government stepping away from the anti-corruption struggle.

Subsequently, Ribadu has been an articulate critic of Nigerian governance. Speaking at Ahmadu Bello University on June 8, he called the current state of Nigerian politics a “sinking ship,” and criticized it for “perpetuat[ing] a tyranny of interests.” He said that politicians have taken advantage of ethnic, religious, and regional divides to keep Nigeria fragmented and preserve the status quo. Ribadu encouraged Nigerian youth to combat the “exclusionists” by identifying themselves primarily as “Nigerian” rather than as belonging to a particular ethnic or religious group.

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