NSA/SSA: The Muhammadu Ribadu In Nuhu Ribadu.

By Bala Ibrahim.
Since the announcement yesterday, Thursday, 15th June, 2023, by the State House Director of Information, Abiodun Oladunjoye, that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had named eight persons as Seniour Special Advisers, SSA, amongst whom is the retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, and the pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the minds of many Nigerians, yours truly inclusive, went into a frenzy of bewilderment, because of the uncertainty of the position of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. The question everywhere is, as Adviser Security, is he going to be the familiar National Security Adviser?

Pundits, teachers and different givers of opinions have been speaking with varying authorities, regarding the SSA nomenclature. Almost all of them have agreed on three things, i.e, the position is senior. It is for an Adviser. And it has to do with Security. The only confusion is that, it arrived without the prefix, National.

Someone wrote and I quote, “The Nigerian constitution does not mention National Security Adviser or NSA in any section. What is contained in our constitution is SPECIAL ADVISERS as the heading of section 151 of the constitution indicates. Where security is mentioned as regards giving advise to the president on the matter, is in section 151 (2) of the constitution which clearly mentioned that the number of Advisers, their remuneration and allowances shall be as prescribed by law or by resolution of the National Assembly. Based on this, the president had requested the Senate to approve 20 SPECIAL ADVISERS for him and they have done so. It is consequent upon this that the president named Mallam Nuhu Ribadu as his SPECIAL ADVISER ON SECURITY, as required by the constitution. The word ADVISER as regards SECURITY can never appear again on anybody's name in this country other than MALLAM NUHU RIBADU. SECURITY in the constitution at federal level is not State or Local Government Security. It is National Security. This is how the words 'National Security' come in. I  believe it is military mentality to  assume that SPECIAL ADVISER ON SECURITY can be anything else. National Security Adviser or NSA is alien to our constitution”.

I haven’t spoken to Mallam Nuhu Ribadu directly on the issue, but a close contact of his spoke to me in a manner that supports the argument above.

Whatever nomenclature the President want’s to use in addressing his appointees, it is a prerogative given to him by the constitution, and he is at liberty to so exercise it, without quarrel from anyone. For those of us that may be interested in history, I want to seize the opportunity of the confusion, to do a juxtaposition of the two titles, viz: NSA and SSA, and see whether President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is simply trying to reincarnate the late Muhammadu Ribadu in Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, using the change of nomenclature as a launch pad.

As a refresher, it may interest the reader to know that Muhammadu Ribadu was a Nigerian politician, who was the first Minister of Defence after Nigeria’s independence. Like Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, he was from Adamawa state in the North East Nigeria. As minister of Defence, Muhammadu Ribadu preoccupied himself with the management and coordination of all branches of the Nigerian security agencies, for effective and efficient protection of the country. And according to the records, he pursued those ambitions faultlessly, to the applause of all patriotic Nigerians. Nigeria’s security was revamped and reinvigorated under Muhammadu Rabadu, who was a seasoned civil servant that abhorred corruption to the extreme.

Similarly, as the pioneer chairman of the EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu rode the saddle with a zest zeal, that sent shivers down the spines of those who were making a carrier in corruption. His record of success earned him the global recognition that made him one of eight individuals recognised internationally, for their role in curtailing corruption. At an event held in Putrajaya, Malaysia, along with other honourees from Asia, America, Africa, and Europe, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu was recognised at the Third annual Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani International Anti-Corruption Excellence (ACE) Award 2018. In 2007, Nuhu Ribadu refused to collect the bribe of $15 million in cash, from a Governor, that was so desperate to stop a probe into his finances. The money was delivered in a bag so heavy one man alone could not lift it, he said.

 Of course such actions come with a price, because corruption always fights back. As a consequence, Nuhu Ribadu’s life became terribly threatened, to the extent he had to run into exile until 2010.

Since assumption of office over two weeks now, the actions and body language of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu have been in tandem with the innuendos of a man intending to reform Nigeria in every direction, including the area of security. By changing the nomenclature of the NSA to that of the SSA, it is evident that the President is working towards the reincarnation, or the rebirth of a stronger synergy in the security architecture of Nigeria. And the need to get someone patriotic, with devotion, vigour and support for his country, need not be over emphasized. And indeed, in Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, these virtues are abundantly available.

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts with ANN..

Previous Post Next Post