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TheBoss Celebrates Cerebral Entrepreneur, Tony Elumelu, @ 55

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Eric Elezuo

“Everything I have today is because of Africa, I was born here, went to school here, I work here and I’m achieving some level of financial comfort here.”

That is vintage Tony Elumelu, the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. A Nigerian national honours holder, the Commander of the Order of Nigeria (CON), and Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR).

Born Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu on March 22, 1963, in Jos, Nigeria, the economist by training, visionary entrepreneur and philanthropist, acquired and turned Standard Trust Bank into a top-five player in Nigeria. In 2005, his corporate reputation as an African business leader was sealed when he led the largest merger in the banking sector in Sub-Saharan Africa to acquire United Bank for Africa (UBA). In five years, he transformed it from a single-country bank to a pan-African institution with over seven million customers in nineteen African countries.

In 2011, New African magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential people in Africa, and a year later (2012), he was recognised as one of “Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People” by Forbes Magazine.

Following his retirement from UBA in 2010, Elumelu founded Heirs Holdings, which invests in the financial services, energy, real estate and hospitality, agribusiness, and healthcare sectors. In the same year, he established the Tony Elumelu Foundation, an Africa-based and African-funded philanthropic organisation dedicated to the promotion of excellence in business leadership and entrepreneurship, and to enhancing the competitiveness of the private sector across Africa.

His stated objective at the formation of Tony Elumelu Foundation was to “prove that the African private sector can itself be the primary generator of economic development.” The Foundation is charged with the mission of driving Africa’s economic development by enhancing the competitiveness of the African private sector. As a premier pan-African-focused not-for-profit institution, the Tony Elumelu Foundation is dedicated to the promotion and celebration of entrepreneurship and excellence in business leadership across the continent, with initiatives like The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP)

In a bid to expand his conglomerate as well as his business horizon, in 2011, through Heirs Holdings, he acquired a controlling interest in the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), a publicly quoted conglomerate that has business interests in the agribusiness, energy, and hospitality sectors. Elumelu was subsequently appointed chairman of the corporation.

His enterprise is not limited to self financed enterprises as he serves as an advisor to the USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa (PCGA) Partners Forum. He also sits on the Nigerian President’s Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council (ATIC). He is also vice-chairman of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN) whose formation he was a key driver in, and serves as Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series on Global Food Security.

Elumelu additionally chairs the Ministerial Committee to establish world-class hospitals and diagnostic centres across Nigeria, at the invitation of the Federal Government and the Presidential Jobs Board, engineered to create 3 million jobs in one year. He also serves as a member of the Global Advisory Board of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL) and USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa Partners Forum.

One will not be wrong to address him as a philosopher as well as he is the originator of the term Africapitalism. According to him, Africapitalism is an economic philosophy that embodies the private sector’s commitment to the economic transformation of Africa through long-term investments that create both economic prosperity and social wealth. Elumelu sees Africans taking charge of the value-adding sectors and ensuring that those value-added processes happen in Africa, not through nationalisation or government policies, but because there is a generation of private sector entrepreneurs who have the vision, the tools and the opportunity to shape the destiny of the continent. He insists that Africapitalism is not capitalism with an African twist; it is a rallying cry for empowering the private sector to drive Africa’s economic and social growth.

Having studied under Professor Porter at Harvard Business School, Elumelu subscribes to Michael Porter’s concept of Creating Shared Value (CSV). Professor Porter is the Founding Patron of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. In the same vein, CSV refers to the idea that “companies must take the lead in bringing business and society back together.” It asserts that “businesses acting as businesses, not as charitable donors, are the most powerful force for addressing the pressing issues (society) face(s).”

In 2003, the Federal Government of Nigeria granted Tony Elumelu the title of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR), a national honour, and in 2006, he was voted African Business Leader of The Year by the Africa Investor magazine and was also recognised as  African Banker of the Year in 2008 by the African Banker magazine. In 2009, the Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar’adua honoured him with a place on the Presidential Committee on the Global Financial Crisis.

In 2012, he was awarded the prestigious National Honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) for his service in promoting private enterprise. Apart from being recognised as one of “Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People in 2012” by Forbes Magazine as well as being featured in the New African Magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential Africans in Business”. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science degree from the Benue State University and an honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

In 2013, Elumelu received the Leadership Award in Business and Philanthropy from the Africa-America Institute (AAI) Awards. He was also named African Business Icon at the 2013 African Business Awards.

In addition, ESI-Africa, frequently described as “Africa’s power journal”, named Elumelu in its 2015 ‘ESI Most Influential Figures in African Power’ list, in January 2015.

Elumelu is not just a financial wizard; he also writes as well as provides incredible inspiration to writers. Some works that involves him include:

  • How to Excel at Work – Proven strategies for achieving superior work performance by Bili A. Odum -a book inspired by Elumelu’s work ethics.

Elumelu has contributed to the Nigeria Leadership Initiative White Papers, writing on Leveraging private sector approaches in transforming government delivery.

  • The Power of Vision: Insights on Tony Elumelu is a testimonial compiled on the occasion of his retirement as Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer at the United Bank for Africa. It contains messages from Aliko Dangote, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Professor Michael Porter, former World Bank managing director and Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, President of Sierra Leone; Ernest Bai Koroma, former United States Comptroller of the Currency, Eugene Ludwig and Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He has written about his philosophy and the economic development of Africa for several publications around the world including The Economist, the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times.

  • The TOE Way: A handbook that offers insights into Elumelu’s philosophies, business practices, values and secrets of success, written by the man himself.

Tony Elumelu is happily married to Awele Vivian Elumelu, who he married in 1993, and they are blessed with five wonderful girls; Nneka, Ugo, Ogor, Oge and Onyinye.

Sir, for your steadfastness in business and transformation of lives as well as unleashing the Midas magic to anything you are involved in or touched, you deserve to be our Boss of the Week. Congratulations sir and happy 55th birthday!

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Boss Picks

The Civil War in the Ruling APC

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By Eric Elezuo

The new found love between the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, could best be described as a wedding of strange fellows as their trajectory in political relationship has churn up only a no love lost status. However, events have taken a dramatic turn since the June, 2022 Presidential Primary where Tinubu emerged victorious and mandated to fly the party’s flag in the February 25, 2023 election.

But ever since the primary election, things have never remained the same as the centre could no longer hold together the slim fabrics that birthed the APC in 2013 in readiness to oust a sitting president. An uncommon civil war, which many describe as internal wranglings, is presently being fought full scale, and may likely affect the chances of the party in the general elections just three weeks away.

While fielding questions during a live interview on Channels Television, el-Rufai made a categorical allegation, accusing those in Aso Rock of conspiring to truncate Tinubu’s ambition of becoming the president of Nigeria via the party platform. He said because their candidate failed to win in the election, the Aso Rock has remained aloof to Tinubu’s campaign, and most cases flirted with one of his opponents, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

The Kaduna State governor’s claim came barely a week after Tinubu alleged that the petrol queues and scarcity of Naira notes due to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cash swap initiatives were plots against his ambition. Political pundits believe Tinubu was stylishly throwing a jab at President Muhammadu Buahri

“I believe there are elements in the villa that want us to lose the election because they didn’t get their way. They had their candidate but their candidate didn’t win the primary election,” El-Rufai noted, adding that “I think they are still trying to get us to lose the election and they are hiding behind the president’s desire to do what he thinks is right.”

He insisted that the ‘elements’ are behind the non-removal of petrol subsidy after he had a conversation with Buhari where it was agreed that subsidy should be removed, noting that the same Aso Rock ‘elements’ are allegedly behind the faulty implementation of Naira notes swap introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“They are trying to get us to lose the election, and they are hiding behind the president’s desire to do what he thinks is right. I will give two examples: this petroleum subsidy, which is costing the country trillions of Naira, was something that we all agreed would be removed.

“In fact, I had a discussion with the president and showed him why it had to go. Because how can you have a capital budget of N200b for federal roads and then spend N2 Trillion on petroleum subsidy? This was a conversation I had with the president in 2021 when the subsidy thing started rising. He was convinced. We left. It changed. Everyone in the government agreed, and it changed.

“The second example I will give is this currency redesign. You have to understand the president. People are blaming the Governor of the Central Bank for the currency redesign, but No. You have to go back and look at the first outing of Buhari as president. He did this; the Buhari, Idiagbon regime changed our currency and did it in secrecy with a view to catching those that are stashing away illicit funds.

“It is a very good intention. The president has his right. But doing it at this time within the allotted time does not make any political or economic sense.”

It will be recalled that El-Rufai had in the not too distant past remained one of the many vocal voices against Tinubu, using his supposed godfatherism attributes to attack his ambition.

In 2019, while the party was in the middle of plans to return Tinubu to power, El-Rufai attacked Tinubu in a speech he titled Ending Godfatherism in Lagos and many other verbal abuses. The attack drew the ilk of many political watches including Senator Shehu Sani and a pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Omoluwabi Movement.

In their reaction, the group, in a statement issued to journalists in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, by the Publicity Secretary of the state chapter, Miss Idowu Ogundola, described El-rufai’s comment as a mere “idle talk of a frustrated political expansionist.”

They said El-Rufai should not be taken seriously as he is a well-known “genuflecting opportunist, who will do anything, especially his renowned genuflecting prowess, to achieve his ulterior motive, and who will abandon his benefactor immediately he achieves his pecuniary aim.

“Our attention has been drawn to the reported remarks of the governor of Kaduna State on ‘ending godfatherism in Lagos’. We therefore urge all well-meaning Omoluwabi to disregard the comment as a “circumstantial idle talk at a dinner by an evasive governor, who realising his inability to give good account of his crisis-ridden governance of his state, chose to launch an indirect and uncultured attack on an iconic Omoluwabi and pillar of democracy and progressive politics in Africa. It is a divisive and diversionary attempt to escape from giving account on his turbulent and most controversial administration in the annals of Kaduna State.

“It is on record that El-rufai has moved from one god-father to the other; from Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and now President Muhammadu Buhari. As soon as he gets what he wants, he moves on to the next milk-shop. He succeeded in his renowned opportunism because only a stone-hearted man will not want to listen to a genuflecting-midget.”

“We wish to join in warning President Buhari to be wary of the man with a gargantuan ambition and to call him to order. His outburst is understandable as his political expansionist voyage of imposing his bookkeeper on the people of Ogun State was checkmated by the members of the APC in Ogun State at the party governorship primary held last year.”

In another development, Senator representing Kaduna Central, Comrade Shehu Sani said El-Rufai’s comment was on how to unhorse Bola Ahmed Tinubu as godfather of Lagos politics was for three reasons. One is to provoke the Asiwaju to a new phase of internal war within the APC, which will eliminate him from the sphere of President Muhammadu Buhari and turn him into an adversary. The second reason for the act of provocation against Asiwaju is that there is a calculated plot to deny the Southwest or even the Southern part of the country rotation of power in 2023. And the best way to ensure that that materialize is, by getting into fisticuffs, into political combat between the Northern top ranks of the APC and the Southwestern top ranks of the party. There is a school of thought in the North among the ruling political elites that are close to President, that even without the votes of the Southwest, that the North can still produce the president in 2023. And as such, the attack on Tinubu is a trigger to begin realization of that.

While the third reason for the attack on Tinubu was simply to send a message that they are prepared to fight anybody for this 2023 and for his own personal ambition.

Sani added: “I told Asiwaju and Oshiomhole that el-Rufai would fight three people when he gets re elected. He will fight Asiwju, Adams Oshiomhole and Buhari; and now by being elected, he has got what he wants. The time he will go after Buhari that will be when he is clear he doesn’t have a case in court again. When he is out of the litigation challenging his election, then that will be the time he is going to go after the three of them. He is not known to be a person with permanent loyalty. His attachment to Buhari is for political survival and Self-preservation. It is about protecting himself. It is about consolidating himself because he has come to understand Buhari’s popularity, his footprint and Buhari’s inroads into the hearts of the Northern masses.”

Today, El-Rufai has reunited with Tinubu, and joined in the fight against Buhari, who is categorised among the Aso Rock cabal. Stakeholders said with the political hegemony of Buhari coming to an end, El-Rufai is desirous of clutching another tree to remain politically relevant, and so the civil war in the ruling party continues to heighten

A source, who spoke to The Boss via anonymous opined “Please ask for us why is ELRUFAI so afraid of ATIKU becoming president. Is he afraid of the Shiites killing he did on the head of PMB? When did ASIWAJU suddenly become so important to ELRUFAI than ATIKU who brought him into the limelight. Is he afraid of ATIKU, because of like revenge. Please tell him ATIKU is not like them in APC. ATIKU will use all good people in his Govt. Internet does not forget all the bad things ELRUFAI and RIBADU said about ASIWAJU in the past. But today ASIWAJU is their horse to…”

The battle line in the APC was drawn, according to analysts, in Abeokuta, Ogun State, when in a speech by Tinubu, x-rayed the journey of Buhari, punctuated every statement with how he singlehandedly brought him out of retirement and made him president after failing in the quest on three different occasions, including crying on national television.

“If not for me that stood solidly behind Buhari and encouraged him to go ahead, he could not have become president,” he said.

“Since his assumption of power, I never took ministerial position,  begged him for any contract or  loan.

“All I am saying is that it is the turn of the Yoruba speaking people to become president and within the yoruba people, it is my turn.

“I have adopted and protected many political children, but in the face of danger, one has to first protect himself.

“I have served enough. I do not want to become history. It is my turn to become president. It is a matter of right for me.

“Bring it on,” he said.

An APC faction had frowned at Tinubu’s entitlement mentality, and the manner at which he eventually won the presidential primary, claiming that a lot of money exchanged hands. Consequently, some of the losers of the primary election has distanced themselves from the presidential campaign including the runner up,, Rotimi Amaechi, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, who was originally nominated by the party as its flag bearer. Ever since, the civil war raged, and Tinubu and his foot soldiers have ignited the fire unendingly’.

In his quest for revenge, Tinubu settled for a Muslim, former governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, as running mate, and used the failures of the Buhari administration as campaign strength thereby putting a division between Buhari’s administration and the campaign. In the same way, key officers of the party including former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and former Secretary to the Federal Government, Babachir Lawal, left for the PDP and Labour Party respectively.

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Antan Producing Appoints Sagiru Jajere As Managing Director

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Antan Producing Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, with responsibility for the operation of OMLs 123, 124, 126 and 137 taken over from Addax Petroleum,  has appointed Engineer Sagiru Jajere as its new Managing Director.

A statement from the company described Jajere as a seasoned professional, who has paid his dues in the up and down stream of the oil and gas sector, adding that his outstanding performance, deep theoretical and practical understanding of the industry has made it easier for him to rise through the ranks to his present position.

The statement further described the new managing director as follows:

Engr Sagiru Jajere FNSE, MASCE was born and brought up in Potiskum town of Yobe State. He started his early education at Damboa Primary School, Potiskum and from there he proceeded to Government Science Secondary School, Potiskum, also in Yobe State.

After completing his secondary education, he proceeded to University of Maiduguri, Borno State, where he got his BSc in Civil Engineering. He also did his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) at Osun State.

Upon completion of his NYSC, he worked briefly with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Lagos, as Executive Engineer and later moved to National Engineering and Technical Company Limited, NETCO a subsidiary of the NNPC. After 13 years, he moved to the corporate headquarters to support the Local Content Drive under the GMD’s office.

Following the signing into law, the Nigerian Content Act in 2010, he was selected to form the implementation committee that successfully produced the implementation document for the NCDMB and was eventually seconded as one of the pioneer staff that set up the Board.

Engr. Jajere’s secondment ended after five years with the Board at Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and was deployed to Cost Engineering Division at the Corporate headquarters as Deputy Manager, Cost Estimating, and later promoted to Manager Value for Money and Cost Optimization. He contributed immensely to instituting Cost Estimating and Benchmarking of all NNPC projects.

His outstanding performance, deep theoretical and practical understanding of the petroleum industry, earned him a promotion to become the General Manager Capital Projects in the Engineering and Technical Division. In the year 2020 Engr. Jajere was transferred to National Investment Management Service, NAPIMS (Now NUIMS) to head the Production Shearing Contracts as General Manager PSC.

He also held various positions and worked in various sectors and committees of the NNPC and IOCs within and outside Nigeria, particularly with partner companies like Bechtel Corporation of USA, Kellogg Brown and Root and many others.

He attended various technical and managerial courses both in-country and abroad that greatly enhanced his working career.

Following the execution of the Transfer, Settlement and Exit Agreement (TSEA) dated November 1, 2022 between certain Addax Petroleum companies and Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Engineer Jajere led the NNPCL Transition team in the successful handover of OMLs 123, 124, 126 and 137 operations from Addax Petroleum to NNPCL. He was appointed Managing Director of Antan Producing Limited, that will be operating the oil assets taken over from Addax Petroleum.

Engineer Jajere is not a one-sided personality. He is a rounded gentleman who combines his love for work with his work for his community. He is often described as compassionate and affable. It is this his soft side that informed the conferment of the title of “Zanna Dujima of Fika” on him by the Emir of Fika, HRH Alhaji (Dr.) Muhammadu Ibn Abali Idrissa.

As Managing Director, Engineer Jajere is definitely the kind of technocrat needed to steer this new ship called Antan Producing Limited and lead the team to perform efficiently and profitably and ultimately, increase production and revenue to stakeholders.

We wish him the very best in this new endeavour.

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Code of Kings: Oluwo of Iwo Steps Out with New Book

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By Eric Elezuo

The distinguished paramount ruler of the ancient and revered Iwo Kingdom, the Oluwo of Iwo HIM Oba (Dr.) Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi Telu 1, is set to launch his book, Code of Kings, come Monday, January 16, 2023, in Lagos. The Oluwo is known as a man, who takes pleasure in purging his path, thereby giving honours a safe passage to continually locate him.

Consequently, arrangements are finalised to make it a double for the revered monarch as he mark his 7th year coronation anniversary.

The event scheduled to hold at Marriott Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos will witness the unveiling of the book written to register a pathway for the black race in the traditional institution. Nigerians from all walks of life will grace the occasion.

The Chief Executive Officer of Peculiar Ultimate Concern Limited, Engr. Abel Lanre Adeleke, has been penciled as the chairman of the event while Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, who is the Chairman of Sifax Group will be the Chief Launcher.

A statement signed by Oluwo’s press secretary, Alli Ibraheem, further revealed other dignitaries expected at the occasion to include President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammed Buhari, his Vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Kano born business mogul, Aminu Dantata, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’adu Abubakar, Ooni of Ife, HIM Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Alhaji Aliko Dangote of Dangote Group, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, Governor Abiodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State, former Governor of Osun State, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola and few other Governors from the Northern part of Nigeria.

Notable Royal Fathers, serving federal and state legislators, captains of industries, friends of Oluwo from Canada, United Kingdom, leading entrepreneurs, academic professors and doctors, veteran journalists etc are billed to attend the August event.

The book will form part of Oluwo contribution,to learning,knowledge and history with the strong hope, that the it will correct some distortions in our rich history and liberate Nigerian youth from mental slavery.

The Oluwo is one youthful ruler, who bears tradition with fear and reverence of the Almighty God, and as a result, attracts accolades his way. He has been privileged to have been honored in high places, including an Honorary Doctorate Degree by the premier private university, Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, in 2018.

A nationalist to the core, Oba Akanbi, who believes politics should not be left to politicians alone, has been in the forefront of canvassing for royal fathers to highly get involved in politics. This, he said is because, politicians cannot be trusted but traditional rulers who has the interest of their people at heart can.

“Kings have to be in politics and so does everybody else, regardless of what you think about it. Politicians are people that you can’t really trust but then as a father, who has the best interest of his community and the nation, one has to be involved,” he was once quoted as saying.

The above and more, has formed the background for which Oba Akanbi has been considered for such a grand honour.

In their own words, the management of the Igbinedion University while honouring him a few years ago, said the choice, is in “acknowledgement of a throne committed to serving humanity and his contribution to academic excellence in Nigeria.

“The award is in recognition of your outstanding contributions as a traditional and cultural icon, outstanding and visionary leader, developmentalist, general role model, and national builder.”

It is therefore, not a fluke that the revered Oba is being honoured in this way seeing that the award is the third so far to be bestowed on him, and according to as many that know him, more are readily in the offing for the first class traditional ruler, who attested that he rules by the directives of the Almighty God.

Born on June 21, 1967 in Iwo, Oba Rasheed Adewale Akanbi hails from Molaasan Compound of Gbaase Ruling House in Isale Oba in Iwo.

He attended Omolewa Nursery and Primary School, Oritamefa, Ibadan between 1972 and 1978 before proceeding to Iwo Grammar School, Araromi, Iwo, where he stayed till 1982. He completed his secondary education at Oba Akinyele Memorial High School, Idi-Ape, Ibadan.

He later attended The Polytechnic Ibadan in 1985, and obtained Ordinary National Diploma in Mass Communication in 1987. He also obtained a certificate in Cybis & Axis System from the Convergys Institute, Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada (2001-2005) in addition to Seismic certificate in Operations, Oil and Gas Processing Facilities (2005).

In the quest for further and standard education, Oba Akanbi attended George Brown College, Toronto, Canada, where he obtained a B.Sc. in Business Administration. This was between 2005 and 2009.

He worked as a Data Processor, Bio-skin GMBH in Hamburg Germany (1996-2005), International Development Analyst (Oxfam Canada); travelling to help war and disaster stricken countries around the world by supplying and supporting refugees with relief materials.

Oba Akanbi also worked as Associate Supervisor, Purdy Wharf Towers, Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada.

He is the Chief Executive Officer of Prince Enterprises, Toronto, Ontario M5H4E7 Canada, Director and Founder of People Against Loneliness Inc. 508-58 Waterson Road, Toronto Ontario, Canada, West Africa Coordinator (Karcher Group FutureTech) presently working on supply of future technology on peace keeping force to the Defence Ministry and Managing Director, Morganz Gamo Quarry, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Podo Village, Ibadan.

A polyglot, he speaks fluent Yoruba, English, French and Deutsche (German)

Oba Akanbi may be the Oluwo of Iwo, but he sees himself as more of a national figure than being limited to his community.

Hear him: I consider myself a king over a nation. Anything that happens in Kano, affects me because an investor is coming from overseas will always ask how Nigeria is; they won’t ask how is Iwo? There are many embassies that I know that have put Nigeria at the high- risk position of ‘you come at your own risk’. It affects me as well. So traditional rulers have to get up and become part of politics especially when it has to do with security of lives and property of subjects.”

He is also a stern believer in the crusade to root out corruption from the Nigeria body polity, saying he is doing his bit in the community where he holds sway.

“Yes. That’s what we’re doing now. We’re tackling corruption the same way Buhari is tackling it. I have started with the crusade of fighting corruption in our traditional and cultural systems. Our culture is not moving because it is steered by corruption. So all those rituals and killings of human beings all around are what we need to take out.”

In March 2022, the Oluwo  wedded Firdaus Abdullahi, a princess of the royal family of Kano, at a colourful ceremony in the ancient city.

The bride is a daughter of the late ‘Madakin Kano’, Abdullahi Sarki Sani Yola, and a grand daughter of late Emir Ado Bayero.

The wedding was held at the residence of Madakin Kano in the Yola Quarters of Kano, with representatives of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and that of the Emir of Kano among  dignitaries who attended.

Oba Akanbi is cherished by his people for his series of humanitarian projects, poverty alleviation programmes and community development activities. He is also in the forefront of projecting peace and tolerance among Yoruba obas.

He once created a stir in the media space when in 2017, he named his child Oduduwa. The child was given birth to in Canada.

In 2021, Oba Akanbi’s foresightedness located the industrious journalist, Chief Dele Momodu and wife, Mobolaji, for grand honours of Aare Tayese and Yeye Aare Tayese of Iwoland.

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