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Pendulum: My Passionate Appeal to PDP Delegates  



By Dele Momodu

My very dear Party Delegates, I’m honoured to send you this special message today. Let me emphasize how privileged I feel being one of the final 15 PDP Presidential aspirants that will contest to be our Party’s Presidential candidate during our Party Primary next week, from May 28-29, 2022.  An event that will produce our Party’s candidate for the 2023 Presidential election is obviously a momentous and monumental event.

The time has therefore come for us to tell ourselves the home truth. I have never been known to shy away from speaking truth to power or anybody for that matter, how much more a political party that I sincerely believe has the capacity to dislodge the terribly incompetent ruling Party, APC, and its narcoleptic leadership, which most Nigerians would wish could just disappear in order to end the anguish and agony we’ve had to endure in the past seven years. However, if the truth must be told, this is not going to be an easy task except PDP decides to play a game APC would never understand. Our Party needs a change of style if it is to succeed at the national polls (you can’t afford to play Brazilian style when playing Brazil). Our Party needs a major revolution and a volcanic eruption to defeat APC. What would determine our preparation and preparedness for that task, or not, would be the candidate that you the Delegates pick next week. Let me now paint the scenario I envisage.

MONEY POLITICS: It is not a secret that two of our gladiators are poised to fight themselves to standstill in a battle of humongous, but highest bidder, and not of ideas or accomplishments. They are former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and the Rivers State Governor, Barrister Nyesom Wike. The first is from the North Eastern part and the latter is from the South South. Either of the two is capable of winning the Party ticket based on the financial resources that they ostensibly command, but I’m convinced that it would be pretty difficult for them to repeat the same feat during the general election next year. Their financial clout would certainly be eclipsed by the ruling APC, so the attraction for the PDP Party delegates must be more than money. My question then is, what shall it profit a political party that hands its Presidential ticket to the highest bidder but fails ultimately to win the main election. Therefore, PDP elders must step in, like they’ve always done at critical moments, to intervene positively in educating and ensuring that PDP does not fall into the APC trap.

THE ODDS AGAINST ATIKU and WIKE: Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is certainly the most experienced politician in the race. He comes with intimidating political credentials and larger than life personality which, ordinarily, should work in his favour, but, unfortunately not this time when Nigerians are more discerning. Atiku who turns 76 this year is nearer 80 than 70. I supported him in the last election because I felt he was still relatively manageable, but that is not the case today. I’m sure his diehard fans would be quick to say age does not matter and use the American President Joe Biden as a veritable example, but they would have totally missed the point. America does not have the challenges Nigeria carries today. America has sufficient strong and viable institutions and substantial infrastructure even if it can still make do with more, like any other country. The next President of Nigeria must be fully ready to run a blistering schedule which would require all the stamina in the world. It would be most horrendously unfair to unleash another old leader on us immediately after the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari. We have already seen and suffered the disastrous effect of our misadventures on President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Buhari whose health challenges affected the work of State and the polity calamitously. It is a risk not worth taking any longer. At Atiku’s age and with his status, Nigeria may have an Emperor in power and the resources that would be required to maintain him would be hugely significant. Examples of such abound in Africa. We cannot afford to be another, yet again.

On Wike’s part, he is much younger at 59 and extremely energetic and hardworking. He is one of the best Governors in terms of infrastructural development and this alone should have worked in his favour. However,  his major shortcoming is his short fuse, very volatile temper, vituperations and intolerance. These are not the attributes that the President of a developing nation like Nigeria should possess. Many of those goading him on today mostly have reservations about these dismal qualities but are unable to tell him to his face. He himself knows this fact and says it regularly. However, he also believes with little humility that those ganging up against him will suffer a crushing defeat because of the undeniable State wealth at his disposal. I’m not so sure. As one of his biggest admirers, I have written to him that he should watch out for a grand conspiracy at the last minute and copied our mutual friends, Mohammed Adoke (SAN) and Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN). While it is commendable that Wike has worked assiduously for the survival of PDP and is also campaigning hard for power to shift to the South, Wike may find it impossible, on this occasion to be the kingmaker as well as the king simultaneously.

THE TAMBUWAL MAGIC: At 56, the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal is one of the most experienced and exceptionally influential politicians in Nigeria today. His meteoric rise is a stuff of fiction and fairytales. He has been a trained teacher, legal practitioner,  federal legislator (rising to become Speaker of the House of Representatives), and now second term Governor. He has also handsomely developed Sokoto State given the meagre resources at his disposal.

PETER OBI THE ROCK: He is one of my favourite Nigerian politicians, for his passion for education and frugal disposition to managing government resources. Parsimony in government, especially in a developing economy, is counterproductive. Our country does not need savings at the kind of level that Obi posits. A lot of investment is required if the country is to progress. The kind of savings that Obi talks about may be good in a poor State but is minimal and does not do anything for the country. What both of us agree with is that profligacy and corruption need to be eliminated. At 60, age is still on his side. He enjoys cult following from his fans and supporters who want him to be President by fire by force, even though as I have inferred, his limitations are clear for all to see. Peter’s major headache comes from his own people! None of the other Igbo aspirants is willing to step down for him, even though he towers above them in public perception and opinion.

DELE MOMODU THE UNDERDOG TO WATCH: I have always been underrated. Even before my birth, my Mum was taunted as someone incapable of given birth to a baby at her age, but she did, and here I am. I had a poor grade 3 in my first WAEC school leaving certificate examination attempt in 1976. An uncle told my Mum I was too empty brained to make it in life but here we are still. At a point in my life, of all my friends, I was the only jobless one, and I almost gave up. When I eventually got a job in Lagos, in 1988, at Concord Newspapers, I was homeless and had to be a squatter for about two years. When I was forced into exile in 1995, I was derided as an outsider crying louder than the bereaved because of my almost fanatical support for Chief M.K.O Abiola. But the experience compensated me with the birth of Ovation International in the city of London.  I have gone through this preamble because of those who have wrongly written me off in this race for our Party’s Presidential ticket. I will explain in a jiffy why I believe I’m the best in this race and why you should, very seriously, vote for me next week. Without being immodest and with all sense of humility, I am a totally fresh aspirant with global experience and exposure to entrepreneurship, entertainment, technology, tourism and hospitality, diplomacy, philanthropy, education, job creation, traditional and social media, nationalities, politics and security.

I have only mentioned five of the 15 aspirants for specific reasons that you will appreciate below.

THE DISCARDED ZONING FORMULA: Zoning was in the Constitution of our Party, PDP, for obvious reasons. Just like the Federal character, it was meant to make life bearable for Nigerians from all parts of the country and give us all a sense of belonging. My view has always been that the best candidate should be fielded irrespective of where he comes from, but it is unfair to change the rules of a game midway through the game. That is history now though, and we must all live by the rules that we are now presented with. Now that zoning has been jettisoned, the race has become a free for all. And since the excuse is for our Party to be able to find and field the best candidate, then we must get our Arithmetic right. I shall return to this after the next paragraph.

EXPECTATIONS OF NIGERIANS: Everywhere I have been, Nigerians have not minced words about why they are tired of all career politicians, particularly those in the PDP and APC. PDP would do well to fulfil the hopes , dreams and wishes of frustrated Nigerians who want to retire our politicians of yesteryears, especially at the Presidential level since it is practically impossible to sack all politicians. We can identify the good ones.

Why would PDP want to bring back an inglorious past that most Nigerians are ashamed about, unquestionably reject and are seriously trying to distance themselves from? It is like insulting their intelligence, capabilities and perception.

ATTRIBUTES OF THE NEXT PRESIDENT: The PDP candidate would most probably slug it out with one of the most formidable technocrats and more youthful candidates APC has to offer. Our Party cannot afford to field recycled, ancient and controversial politicians at this time and age. The next President of Nigeria must be youthful, technologically savvy, well-educated and fully apprised of 21st century developments and life. The new Nigerian President must be charismatic, urbane, cosmopolitan, level-headed and globally recognised and respected.

HOW TO WIN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: Sentiment and emotion alone can’t win elections. Since we have explained why we abandoned zoning, no zone can request that power be zoned to it again. Thus, we want the best Presidential/Vice Presidential team that can defeat APC. It is now a game of Mathematics, logic and personal attributes. The first question is where are the votes? The answer is that the largest votes come from the North West, South West, North East, South South, North Central and South East in that order.

I will recommend that PDP should get its team from South West/North West or Vice Versa. Naturally, I favour the first combination rather than the second because equity and justice dictates that the President should come from the South since the North has had eight years bite at the cherry. It is a fact that the North has failed with the President Buhari administration despite Buhari being seen as the only alternative to President Goodluck Jonathan at the time.

No individual can lay claims to being the only omnipotent one who can win for us. The Party maketh a man and not the other way round. The Constitution recognises this. That is why the Parties are more relevant than any individual. In terms of age, integrity, personal accomplishment, global popularity, freshness of ideas and ideals, as at today, our Party is well poised to deliver with a Dele Momodu who stands head and shoulders in this regard, and incidentally automatically combines two Southern regions of South South (father) and South West (Mother) with extensive networks everywhere. From the North, I will consider a Governor Tambuwal as my runningmate, against other Northern aspirants like Mohammed Hayatu-deen, Bala Mohammed and Bukola Saraki.

PDP is blessed with many leaders like Governor Wike who will be the first to get my Ministerial appointment in Works or Power. He has the capacity and courage to handle both effectively. Former Governor Peter Obi will do fantastically well as Secretary to Federal Government, which is the engine room, in order to clean up the Augean stable called the civil service once and for all. A Bukola Saraki will do very well in Foreign Affairs with his upper-crust education and Queens English combined with silver spoon pedigree. I love what Governor Udom Emmanuel has done with Ibom Air and he will be considered for trade and investments. A Mike Ozekhome with his dazzling brilliance as Minister of Justice will shake up the judiciary. What I am doing here is only to give a sneak preview of my dream cabinet and assure Nigerians that ours will be a government of national unity, with a star-studded cabinet of brilliant and accomplished Nigerians from every part of Nigeria and the entire world.

To be continued next week…

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Pendulum: Why I Have Faith in the Supreme Court




By Dele Momodu


What is the argument on the other side? Only this, that no case has been found in which it has been done before. That argument does not appeal to me in the least. If we never do anything which has not been done before, we shall never get anywhere. The law will stand still while the rest of the world goes on, and that will be bad for both.” Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls (1899- 1999) PARKER v PARKER.”

Fellow Nigerians,

I’m not a Lawyer. But I’m surrounded by friends who are Lawyers. I enjoyed seeing Lawyers in their wigs and gowns and was tempted to read Law after my first degree at the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you view my trajectory today, my application was bounced by the egg heads at the Faculty of Law, despite my first degree which, in some universities, would have been a prerequisite for my entry into a Law degree program. That is a story for another day. I simply accepted my destiny, with equanimity.

Since I had a fascination for Law, I privately engaged in picking and reading legal textbooks, especially anything to do with Jurisprudence and a bit of Company Law. I was particularly fascinated by the landmark cases of the iconic Jurist, Lord Denning, and how he broke rank with the traditional rules and previously held presumptions in English Law, by taking the road less travelled. I enjoyed, and relished, his radical views and witticisms. The above quote of Lord Denning is very relevant to my current topic about the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

The main reason for my epistle to you today is simple and straightforward. Many Nigerians seem to have given up on our Judiciary. There are at least two monumental cases ongoing at the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the Presidential election appeals that were separately filed by Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi against Bola Tinubu and INEC. Many people have called to ask why my principal, Atiku Abubakar, is wasting his time and resources on pursuing a fruitless case. None of them ever said he never had a good case. They merely gave the usual conspiracy theories as to how corrupt the Judiciary is in Nigeria, as well as the war chest of Bola Tinubu, which he’d never been known to shy away from deploying to maximum advantage. While it may be true that bribery and corruption is of a pandemic status in Nigeria, I still believe there are good people, and Judges, in Nigeria. We should therefore resist this campaign of calumny against our Judges. I have personally thrown this question at Atiku Abubakar a couple of times and he told me very firmly that he believes in the rule of Law. He mentioned how he’s been saved several times by taking his matter to the Judiciary.

The doubting Thomases in Nigeria often predicate their skepticism on the fact that no Presidential election appeal has ever succeeded in removing an incumbent President. While this may true, I believe there is always the possibility of a first time in every situation, and this is the origin of statistics.

At least, we have the reinvigorating example of Sidi Dauda Bage, a Retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria who said in the case of SALEH v. ABAH & ORS (2017) LPELR-41914(SC)

“This Court must take the lead, in righting the wrongs in our society, if and when the opportunity presents itself as in this appeal. Allowing criminality and certificate forgery to continue to percolate into the streams, waters and oceans of our national polity would only mean our waters are and will remain dangerously contaminated. The purification efforts must start now, and be sustained as we seek, as a nation, to now ‘change’ from our old culture of reckless impunity. The Nigerian Constitution is supreme. It desires that no one who had ever presented forged certificate to INEC should contest election into Nigeria’s National Assembly. This is clear and sacrosanct. More compelling as a judicial determination had been taken by no less a technical panel sitting in, at least, a panel of three judges as Election Tribunal with constitutional mandate to determine such issues as they relate to elections and its outcomes, including eligibility. This has also been affirmed by the trial Court in this appeal. On these issues, our duty is to apply the Constitution and the law in its start, original form undiluted by ‘colourated’ interpretations.”  (Pp 26 – 31 Paras E – B)

There is yet another superlative example: “THE POWER OF THE SUPREME COURT TO RECEIVE FRESH EVIDENCE:

Section 22 of The Supreme Court Act provides, inter alia, that *“The Supreme Court may, from time to time, make any order necessary for determining the real question in controversy in the appeal, and may amend any defect or error in the record of appeal, … and generally shall have full jurisdiction over the whole proceedings as if the proceedings had been instituted and prosecuted in the Supreme Court as a court of first instance and may rehear the case in whole or in part or may remit it to the court below for the purpose of such rehearing or may give such other directions as to the manner in which the court below shall deal with the case in accordance with the powers of that court.”*

(2008) JELR 48885 (SC), Onnoghen JSC (as he then was) held:

“Order 2 Rule 12 (1) of the Supreme Court Rules which guides the court in the applications of this nature provides, thus: “A party who wishes the court to receive the evidence of witnesses (where they were not called at the trial) or to order the production of any document, exhibit or other thing connected with the proceedings in accordance with the provisions of section 33 of the Act shall apply for leave on notice of motion prior to the date set down for the hearing of the appeal.” It is settled law that it is within the discretion of the court to decide whether or not to admit further/additional evidence on appeal. It is also settled that for the court to exercise that discretion one way or the other, it must act not only judicially but also judiciously. It is in an effort at attaining the standard of exercising its discretion judicially and judiciously that the courts have set down certain principles/conditions as guides. *The principles are: 1) the evidence sought to be adduced must be such that could not have been with reasonable diligence obtained for use at the trial; 2) the evidence should be such that if admitted would have an important, not necessarily crucial effect on the whole case, and, 3) the evidence must be such that it is apparently credible in the sense that it is capable of being believed and it need not be incontrovertible — see UBA Plc v. BTL Ind. Ltd. (2005) 10 NWLR (Pt. 933) 356 at 370–371. The above conditions must co-exist for the court to exercise its discretion in favour of the applicant.”

Thank God for social media, we are all learning Law on the go. The world is watching us and our Judiciary in particular. It is sad that our Executive arm of government is already on trial. Our Legislature is considered reckless, unpatriotic and irresponsible by many citizens and non-citizens alike. I do not know why and how they have fallen so low in the eyes of the same electorates who supposedly voted them into the hallowed Chambers. To make matters worse, the Nigerian media, which ordinarily should be the fourth estate of the realm, is also under severe attack of being compromised and divided across ethnic considerations and pecuniary gains by the government of Nigeria. This is the tragedy of our nation. So, to who then do we turn in this season of anomie? Atiku Abubakar had to approach the American Judiciary before he could unravel what should not take up to one hour to confirm at home, if the government agencies agreed to do their jobs according to international best practices.

Even foreign analysts are now painting lurid pictures of Armageddon, the final battle between the good and evil elements in our country. This should worry all of us. The Judiciary today can restore instant global prestige and adulation to our country. The Judges can automatically improve our economy by not kowtowing to the overbearing appurtenances of power, by not delivering technical judgments but being seen to ensure real justice. They can bring back the sinking influence and relevance of their profession.

A CBS newsreport that went viral yesterday should tell us that outsiders, apparently, understand the issues at stake more than us, and they appear even more concerned about the impending catastrophe, if adequate care is not taken. The explosive interview was granted by Gregory Copley, an expert in Defense and Foreign Affairs, an Editor and Publisher, to John Batchelor.This brutal analysis of our predicaments is worth listening to, reading, and digesting, if you can find it online…

Please, join me, in saying the Lord’s prayer, if you wish…

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Pendulum: The Truth Tinubu Must Be Told




By Dele Momodu

Fellow Nigerians, once again, this is not the best of times in our dear beloved country, Nigeria. After we had thought, gladly and gleefully, that no government could be worse than the recent Buhari administration, we are now confronted by yet another monstrosity. In less than two months in power, Tinubu’s government started collapsing whatever positive legacy Buhari left behind. Yet, we would have assumed and expected a President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to be far better prepared and more visionary than Buhari and his lacklustre team was. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the case. While I’m not about to give an overview of Tinubu’s wobbly stewardship so far, and so soon, I’m constrained to put my thoughts and unequivocal opinion on the ongoing Tinubugate on paper. I’m doing this in my personal capacity as a Nigerian citizen and as a true and truthful friend of Tinubu. I believe only a true friend can look you straight, eyeballs to eyeballs, in the face, and tell one of the world’s most powerful men, the Gospel truth.

I have no doubts in my mind that the majority of Tinubu’s so-called friends and ubiquitous hangers-on are pretentious hypocrites. Tinubu has also not helped himself by encouraging both royals and puppets alike to worship at his feet and turning him into a demi-god. I’m convinced that they serve him no useful purpose. I will establish this fact in a minute.

The Tinubugate did not begin yesterday. It started after Tinubu returned from exile and metamorphosed into the Governor of Lagos State in 1999 and instantly became the biggest beneficiary of our epic battles in exile during the NADECO days. In all honesty, we were all happy that he was amply compensated for his salutary efforts.

But unknown to us, trouble was brewing. We didn’t know how or what led the legal luminary, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, to exhume all manner of “false declarations” contained in the forms submitted for Tinubu’s gubernatorial bid. On October 11, 1999, just months after Tinubu contested and won his election, Chief Fawehinmi’s powerful interview was published on the cover of Newswatch magazine, with the screaming headline: WHY TINUBU MUST GO – Gani Fawehinmi. The fearless Lawyer also granted another interview on the cover of The Source magazine, with an even more acerbic headline: “TINUBU IS A CRIMINAL – Gani, and a rider below: Deserves 10 years in jail! On top of the same magazine was published a worrisome story: The Tinubu Story: THE SOURCE UNDER THREAT. This was the first tell-tale sign of the new and toxic Lagos State to come, a Lagos of one man, one permanent ruler, reminiscent of the Sicilian Mafia, which we privately rechristened the “Cosa Nostra” of Nigeria.
Some members of our “exile confraternity” were naturally alarmed. But we were somehow timid and, thus, carelessly dismissed Gani’s case as, at the very best, alarmist and unnecessarily meddlesome. A few of us who were very close to Gani Fawehinmi knew it would be difficult and of no effect, to approach him and try to persuade him to drop the case. The other sad revelation was when some of Tinubu’s commissioners started fretting and sweating profusely. God is my witness. Many of them, out of panic, about the imminent impeachment of Tinubu, were, stylishly, dissociating themselves from their boss. We heard all kinds of gibberish, from some of them, who are even in government today: “we brought our integrity into this government, we can’t allow anyone to tarnish it…”

Let us digress a little. One of them, extremely close to Tinubu, was the first to tell us about “the falsification of Tinubu’s age, the identity of his original parents from Iragbiji, his forged academic records”, and so on. This chain-smoker claimed absolute knowledge of Tinubu’s life. He told us in my Accra home that anyone who tells Tinubu the truth is instantly marked down as an enemy, so he has stopped telling him the truth. With this kind of mindset, you can imagine what quality of advice Tinubu gets regularly.

Then, out of the blues, my very daring and loyal friend, Tokunbo Afikuyomi, decided to bite the bullet on behalf of Tinubu. What he did was reminiscent of the “lamb of God who took away the sins of the earth…” He, like a kamikaze soldier, took absolute responsibility for the errors contained in Tinubu’s files. Miraculously, Tinubu was saved, and we were all relieved. Everyone is asking me how has Tinubu compensated Afikuyomi, and my answer is I don’t know.

It is noteworthy that Festus Keyamo had jumped on the bandwagon of those seeking to impeach Tinubu at that time. This is another story for another day. I cannot wait for my memoirs to be ready in order to put names and faces to the main dramatis personae.

Let’s now fast forward to the year 2002. There was a popular magazine known as The Week. It planned a cover story on Tinubu. Somehow, the story leaked out to then Governor of Lagos State. Tinubu immediately, and with automatic alacrity, reached out to the Publisher of the magazine, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and pleaded that the scandalous story should be dropped. Out of love and respect for his friend, Atiku reached out to The Week magazine Management and got the story to be stepped down. The Editors were miffed by this development, and in the aftermath, led to the resignation and exit of the Editor, Mr Simon Kolawole.

The meat of my epistle today is that there are many didactic lessons to pick from this Tinubugate. Tinubu eventually left office in 2007. But he never really left Lagos alone. He became Nigeria’s ultimate godfather, who determined, almost to the pin, who gets what. Many of his acolytes knew he was capable of turning them into emergency Billionaires and were ready to stand ramrod on his mandate. This, I believe, is the crux of the matter.

Now, why do I blame Tinubu and his die-hard fans? Two major reasons are carelessness (or is it negligence?) and recklessness. Why would a man who left office since 2007, 16 long years ago, fail to clean up the records that nearly got him impeached in the first instance? And given the fact that he couldn’t have personally handled those documents himself, why did the hordes of minions claiming to love him till eternity fail to deliver a world-class file for his documents?

The Laws of Nigeria never insisted that a Presidential candidate must attend a university. In the last 16 years, Tinubu should have ensured his personal documents were thoroughly checked to be squeaky clean before submitting them to INEC. If necessary, he could have easily gone back to school (Atiku still went to school recently to update and upgrade himself) and try to erase all the previous controversial details. As for his conflicting dates of birth, he should have settled for a preferred birthday date, like President Olusegun Obasanjo did. It can never be a crime that a child’s parent did not record or obtain his birth certificate. As for claiming to have worked for Deloitte and others, he should have limited himself to “I have worked for big multinationals globally and they truly enjoyed my services and valued my contributions” without mentioning specific companies and dates.

As for parentage, I would have told the world about my humble background and poor parentage. It is nothing to be ashamed of, and it is not a crime to be adopted and acquire the name of one’s foster-parents. Everyone knew how Chief MKO Abiola played the role of a father figure in my life, including travelling all the way to Ijebu-Igbo and Ijebu-Ode for my wedding in 1992, but that never stopped me from celebrating my poor parents. And if there were peculiar reasons for obliterating ones original family history, that can still be easily explained. A public figure cannot afford to keep too many secrets. For far too long, Tinubu has blatantly refused to open up his private life to the members of the public. The repercussions of this stifness have been hugely calamitous to him and his immediate family. With more openness, this could have been avoided.

Let me now go to the specific handling of the Chicago scandals. For me, Tinubu and his noisy supporters have made matters far worse than it should have been. Only his blind and shameless supporters will continue to argue over a saga that started over five decades ago. All of us who knew the truth and looked the other way brought this calamity upon our country. And it is grossly unfair.

Instead of Tinubu standing up as a man to offer sincere and unreserved apologies to Nigerians, his “brood of vipers” are busy insulting the long-suffering people of Nigeria, and studiously rubbing salt and pepper on our festering wounds. This is most unfair. This can only aggravate the anger of our citizens, especially the youths.

The first thing Tinubu should do is to climb down his high horse and experience reality for once. No man, no matter how powerful, can achieve everything by force, all the time. The popular story of EFUNSETAN ANIWURA, IYALODE IBADAN is very instructive. Power is transient.

I’m certain there is a hand of God in this latest eruption about Tinubu’s record, which has refused to go is no longer about Atiku, Obi, Kwankwaso, Sowore and others. This is about Nigeria. Atiku has played his part honorably at home and abroad. What he achieved in Chicago was a monumental victory for our democracy. Because of Atiku, many Nigerians will have their pride restored. The burden has already been transferred to all of us. Whatever the outcome of the Supreme Court case, it is obvious to me that a new era beckons for us all except for those who choose to be voluntary slaves.

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Pendulum: Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr: Refreshing Lessons for Generations




By Japheth J. Omojuwa

This is neither a tribute to nor a piece in praise of Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr. Presidents have defied protocol to offer praises, even across the ocean. Kings have broken tradition in offering tributes and titles, captains of industry have queued behind themselves sharing memorable and inspiring accolades to a timeless icon who did his best to moderate the celebrations. Even if one defied these and decided to try against reason, King Sunny Ade’s Fayeyemi tribute is matchless and inimitable, and I could never reach Chief Ebenezer Obey’s depth and artistry in celebration of the man. Thus, there is nothing left to be said in form of praise or tributes that could surpass those already offered by these great men and women.

I have not come to praise the man; I have only come to address the spectators who were held spellbound by the spectacle and were left wondering what could be so great about a man whom most of them have never seen and only ever get to hear of. Often, when one gets sucked into the attraction of the show, the lessons get lost.

This once, we cannot afford to miss the lessons. The stories that contributed to the making of the man provide vital context for his greatness and offer a rich source of learning and inspiration for generations to come. When these stories are left untold, myths and falsehoods can fill the vacuum, perpetuating disempowering beliefs that hinder progress and growth. For instance, some may believe that wealth can only be acquired through unscrupulous means or cronyism.

When President Emmanuel Macron of France wrote in his tribute, ‘you are humble enough to often publicly declare that the confidence of several French companies at the beginning of your entrepreneurial adventure was instrumental in building the success that is yours today’, among other French alliances, he was making reference to the man who explored for more capital through the banks. A much harder way than through the disempowering stories that people tell to explain wealth they do not understand and in the same breath excuse their own misfortune.

The moniker, ‘The Bull,’ is not merely a name with a golden insignia; it reflects some of Adenuga’s most essential characteristics. The Bull is traditionally seen as a symbol of wealth and subterranean powers. It does not just make an entry; it makes an unforgettable one. It does not recognize defeat; any appearance of defeat is a retreat that often proves costly for those who stand in its path. These traits find expression in the success story of Globacom, which is a testament to Adenuga’s tenacity and determination.

Many exited at the point the government cancelled their mobile telecom licenses. Instead, The Bull charged on, refusing the small battle of a legal pursuit and instead focused on the big prize at the end of what was going to be a protracted bidding war for GSM licenses. Adenuga had to call on his grit again when the prize he won came without the trophy. The government had its cake and ate it. The Bull’s bouncebackability came into play again because well over a year later, he got the license that was fairly won in an open bidding process. When the stories get told, you cannot have a single blot on his shield. The Bull played by the rules, even when the rules were shifted against him, his staying power meant his team returned with victory. A hard-fought one but The Bull stayed invincible.

Other companies would have been happy to just start and do a continuous chase of those who had gone ahead of them, Mike Adenuga’s Globacom defied the norm by starting out with a paradigm shift that remains unmatched in Nigeria. Instead of chasing the competition and playing by their rules, by crashing the price of SIM cards and starting out with per second billing – others said this was not possible at the time – the competition had to bend to his game. The horses that started the race earlier were now doing the chase.

Adenuga’s Globacom dragged the industry on the path of perfect competition with his early moves, he then differentiated immediately by offering services the first and second movers had not even thought of. They were left competing with him at one end in a game whose rules he had redefined by his paradigm shifting bullish entry. He left himself alone without competition at other ends, advancing and flexing with technology above what was on offer. Translated to Yoruba, o ti ilekun mo won, o fi kokoro pa mo.

One reference the tributes intersect is his humility. Humility is an interesting phenomenon. You cannot be poor and be said to be humble. Poverty and humility appear to be parallel lines, yet they find intersection because poverty is already a humble position. Albeit a position that appears to be without the choice of the bearer. When it is said that a person is humble, one must pay attention. When you are so rich with means and power but appear to be unconscious of that elevated state of being especially in your dealings with people, that is humility. Some go out of their way to be seen to be humble. That defeats the purpose. Feigned humility is not humility. The Adenuga tributes refer to the sort of humility that the man himself would only come to see in the description of the people who experienced it. The humility of a man who just is.

Attention seeking appears to be humanity’s contemporary collective de rigueur. That could be explained by the ubiquity of the Internet and its appurtenances. Contemporary culture has now birthed a world where billionaires want to evolve into bloggers even as blogger aspire to be billionaires. We have built a universe and culture where staying relevant has become a daily endeavour, yet in all of that world, we all aspire to Mike Adenuga. The one who would rather not be seen, the one who finds comfort and apparent fulfilment in not being heard. Yet the one who has impacted people and institutions so much he brings life to another moniker of his, The Spirit of Africa. A reference that captures the essence of his values and the fact that one needs not be seen to make change happen, one needs not speak to be heard. And to make great impact, intentions and action are greater than fugazi moves, vain aesthetics and puerile drama.

The rich, in observing the tradition of noblesse oblige, have often committed to philanthropy. The Mike Adenuga principle goes above that sense of obligation because giving is entrenched in his persona. In a world where many keep records of those that they helped that never returned to say ‘thank you’, the millions opportune to be blessed by The Spirit of Africa do not get a chance to. Because his generosity leaves no room to collect appreciations. The giving and the changed lives are the essence of it all.

Conversely, you won’t find a person with a higher sense of appreciation, even for the little things.

Writing about personalities can be enjoyable, but there are times when addressing important issues should take precedence. This piece is not solely about an individual’s personality, but rather the enduring values necessary to navigate a constantly changing world. While exploring Dr. Mike Adenuga’s achievements could fill volumes, the focus here is on some of the values that propelled him to success and how we can apply them to our own daily challenges. As we confront new and complex problems, the lessons we learn from those who have gone before us can be invaluable. Dr. Adenuga’s life offers a powerful example of how these values can lead to great rewards, and this is a message that deserves to be heard by this generation and beyond.

He exemplifies E pluribus unum, and of him, there are lessons to be learned for generations to come. This is the legacy one must have a sense of appreciation for. Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr. GCON, CSG, CdrLH at 70 has left lessons for us in these Platinum number of years, we cannot afford to lose sight of these precious gems.

Japheth J. Omojuwa is the author of Digital: The New Code of Wealth and founder of Alpha Reach

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