NSA: Ribadu’s Candidacy Tears Tinubu’s Camp Apart

NSA: Ribadu’s Candidacy Tears Tinubu’s Camp Apart

June 05, (THEWILL) – The plotting and scheming of various interests groups and cabals in the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, over whose choice candidate would emerge Nigeria’s National Security Adviser (NSA) has assumed a dimension so intense it’s threatening to tear apart the once cosy relationship these cabals hitherto enjoyed under Tinubu’s leadership.

For the record, there are four major cabals in the administration. The first is led by Remi, the wife of the President. The second cabal is led by Seyi, Tinubu’s first son. The third cabal, which consists of other relatives and close friends of these relatives, is led by Gboyega Oyetola, the immediate past Governor of Osun State.

The fourth cabal, referred to as the Lagos group, is mostly made up of people, who have had a stint or are still actively involved in the running of Lagos State. This cabal is led by Babatunde Raji Fashola, a former two-time governor and the immediate past Minister of Works and Housing.

Of these four cabals, Remi has proved to be the most powerful on account of how stealthily she has been moving and striking positively with her choice of candidates for very powerful positions. While Seyi has attempted to make his mark and succeeded, the duo of Fashola and Oyetola are still struggling to make an impact with their leadership positions in the cabals they control.

This may perhaps explain why Oyetola has kept his choice candidate for the position of the NSA very close to his chest, lest he jinxes his chance to have his ‘puppet’ in government.

Besides Oyetola’s choice candidate, who is believed to be the dark horse in the NSA race, there is General Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau Retd., a former Minister of Interior and ex-Chief of Army Staff. Promoters of Dambazau like to think he is the man to beat because of his military background, including years of accumulated experience and understanding of security operations, which they believe makes him the best person to hold the position.

Besides, he was once considered for the position by ex-President Muhammadu Buhari but lost out because of a dent in his past. Boko Haram insurgency allegedly budded under his watch while he was army chief. Despite this, his promoters believe he still has something left to offer and is the best man for the job.

But Remi, the leader of the foremost cabal, is unperturbed by moves from the other cabals to usurp her and is canvassing for Nuhu Ribadu, the pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to be appointed to the crucial position. It is easy for Remi to back Ribadu as her candidate for the NSA position, after all, they have a history.

The Tinubus have a close relationship with him, which dates back to when Tinubu allegedly financed Ribadu’s presidential campaign in 2011 after he emerged as the consensus candidate of the party he (Tinubu) was head of, the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Despite not winning the election, they have nurtured that relationship.

Also lending her support to the ‘Ribadu Cause’ is Aisha Buhari, who believes that her kinsman deserves to be the NSA. It is believed that Remi’s backing of Ribadu is an extension of Aisha’s interest in who becomes the NSA. Recall that Aisha stood firmly behind the Tinubus when it looked like the odds were against them and it seemed like the cabals in her husband’s administration were going to have their way.

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So, Remi flying the Ribadu kite is her way of showing appreciation to Aisha for her unwavering support prior to the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential primary.

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