By Nicholas Ibekwe:
The former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, will Tuesday make a presentation before the Subcommittee on African Affairs of the United States of America’s Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
The event is titled “Examining the U.S-Nigeria Relationship in a Time of Transition”.
Russell Feingold, chairman of the Subcommittee on African Affairs, who signed the letter of invitation, said Mr. Ribadu, a visiting fellow of the Centre for Global Development, was especially invited to give the presentation due to his work at the EFCC.
Mr. Ribadu is expected to give a 5-minute oral presentation on his “assessment of the evolving political situation in Nigeria and the different possible future scenarios”.
Concerned about Nigeria
Mr. Feingold, who is known for launching, together with Roger Wicker, the first ever Senate Working Group on Malaria, in the letter of invitation to Mr. Ribadu acknowledged Nigeria’s leading role in Sub-Saharan African while stating that the country’s political stability is of immense significance “beyond its immediate borders”.
He, however, expressed concern over the recent political logjam caused by the prolonged absence of President Yar’Adua and the failure to appoint an interim leader, stating that it is “capable of causing political paralysis in Abuja.”
According to Mr. Feingold, the elevation of Goodluck Jonathan as the acting president is a stop gap measure “as this will only resolve the paralysis in the short term.”
Mr. Feingold said the outbreak of regional and religious tensions and the renewed attacks by militants in the Niger Delta are pointers to the fact that the “potential for instability remains high”.
The man with the answers?
During the presentation, Mr. Ribadu will be expected to talk on how electoral reform can be promoted ahead of the 2011 general election. He will be also required to discuss the greatest challenges in combating corruption in the light of his recent comment that “corruption is perhaps the greatest reason for the failure of development and failure of democracy” in Nigeria, according to Mr. Feingold. Similarly, he is expected to advice the United State government on how to assist in this fight.
The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session. The US Assistant Secretary of State, Johnnie Carson, who was recently in Nigeria, and other non-governmental witnesses are expected to testify alongside Mr. Ribadu.
This is not the first time Mr. Ribadu will be testifying before an organ of the United States government. In May 2009, he delivered an address to the US congress titled “Capital Loss and Corruption: The Example of Nigeria”.
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