He said failure on the part of leadership, had made the youth lose confidence in the government.
The one-time presidential aspirant said the citizenry should know that they are in a sinking ship and advised them to see themselves as politicians in the storm who were bound to rescue the ship.
“The reality of modern Nigeria is one that challenges us to drop any other identity aside from that of citizen in our effort to rescue the ship of state from this stormy sea of chaos,” he said.
The former anti-graft chief who made this known as part of his address delivered at a public lecture organised by the Students’ Representative Council of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State on Saturday, said the tyrants in Nigeria’s democracy were certain individuals who served as agents of electoral malpractices and political dishonesty.
He added that unless Nigerians separated their patriotism from greed and any undemocratic advocacy, their collective struggle to install a popular government will remain a mirage.
Ribadu said, “But the place of the youth in our democratic space is jeopardised when the elite in our state decide to model our government after a gerontocracy—a government by the old and for the elderly. Ours is a system in which new and modern ideas are denied a chance to grow and mature.
“The tragedy of our democracy is that it is one in which the yearnings of the youth are stamped down in order to perpetuate a tyranny of interests. Tyranny it is when a certain slim range of people impose their private interests on the majority; tyranny it is when the agents of change are left on the cliffs of unemployment, poverty, insecurity, substandard education and, worse still, policies destroyed by our heritage of corruptions.
“We are doomed as a nation the moment the youth get hoodwinked by the bickering of bitter politicians who ride to relevance on sentiments that only inspire distrust among citizens. My experience so far in politics has taught me that age does not guarantee maturity to responsibly play the role of a patriot in an atmosphere of tensed political antagonisms.”
He noted that the political storm included inter-ethnic, inter-religious and inter-regional clashes.
Ribadu said, “The challenge ahead is enormous. The challenge is for us to form networks that will engage and destroy the evil missions of the exclusionists and agents of anarchy among us. In a time of anarchy, everybody is a politician. This is a time of anarchy.
“In a time like this, we should have no identities other than ordinary Citizen. We are citizens of a world challenged, a people confused and abused, a nation whose resources is misused by leaders whose major worry is the amount of dollars in their bank accounts. The situation is one of psychological abuse, existential abuse. My antidote for this monstrous reality is also psychological.”