Connect with us


Pendulum: My Journey in the Forests of a Thousand Daemons (2) 



By Dele Momodu

Fellow Nigerians, as I was saying last week, my latest foray into the Presidential race on the platform of PDP was a monumental move for me. I was under no illusion that it was going to be easy but the journey of a thousand miles, according to a popular saying, begins with the first step. And this was my second step, in a manner of speaking. Too many leaders in history have tried a countless number of times as well, for many decades too, before winning eventually or, in most cases, crashing out totally.

For me, this was a race like no other. For starters, Nigeria is Africa’s biggest country on account of population. Two, Nigeria is made up of numerous ethnic nationalities and a thousand tongues. Three, our country is divided along very deep religious lines, into mainly diverse Christians and Moslem sects. Four, most of our politicians don’t believe in how brilliant you or your policies are, but in how bulky your pockets are. Five, even many of the citizens who daily cry about wanting a positive change are the same people who swarm around the most negative candidates, just because they believe he is richer or different. It seems they do not care about why he is different and as such do not subject the person to the necessary strict and vigorous analysis demanded of the position that they seek to occupy.

Since it was politically expedient and obvious that I had to join either of the two mainstream political parties, namely APC or PDP, if I was to make any realistic progress in the realisation of my quest, I settled for the main opposition party PDP. I will try to avoid the controversy surrounding the existence of a third force which ironically many people believe is the Labour Party, simply because of the candidature of Peter Obi, whilst they studiously ignore APGA that has an already strong political presence in the South East, and indeed commands the membership of a serving Governor, Professor Charles Soludo. Until Peter Obi joined the Labour Party, it was virtually sunk in the innermost recesses of Nigeria’s political wilderness and in fact had two factions fighting for its leadership. There is the unfortunate misconception that because of its nomenclature, it would automatically attract the attention and support of the major Nigerian labour unions, forgetting that these unions already have firm and unshakeable political dalliances with the two major Parties. It is true that the youths of Nigeria are presently being galvanised to obtain their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) and thus turn themselves into a movement, but I do not believe that those restive youths are ready yet to seize the momentum and take over the decision-making process as to who will lead them into the next few decades.

I digressed. Enough said about third or fourth forces!

Having made up my mind that the PDP was the only suitable Party for me to actualise my mission and vision, my strategy was to quickly visit all the six geo-political regions, starting from my paternal home-base of Edo State to my maternal roots in Osun State, as a child of diversity. From Osun and Oyo, we moved to Enugu State before dashing off to Kaduna, Maiduguri, Kwara, Plateau, Kano and Sokoto. We visited many of the traditional rulers, old,  erstwhile and new military and civilian strongmen, some warlords, religious leaders, media organisations, social media influencers, unionists, and others. I even dashed off to Cotonou, in Benin Republic, to visit Chief Sunday Adeyemo, aka Igboho Oosa, who was very impressed and elated that I could undertake such an arduous journey. I also reached out to the lawyers of Mazi Nnamdi Kadu, who has been in detention since last year, in order to be able to continue communicating with this firebrand irredentist and revanchist. We had already established a good rapport which I was going to utilise to bring security and peace to that region of Nigeria. I wasn’t going to wait till I become the President before acting as the President and Commander-in-Chief.

I was extremely active on social media platforms to the extent that many jocularly labelled me the social media President. Such people wondered why I was gallivanting about instead of reaching out to our party delegates who held all aspirants mercilessly by the jugular and would make or break the ambition and heart of even the most diehard or foolhardy contestant. However, I knew I couldn’t compete with the moneybags and could only use my media power to make myself very visible, promote my global accomplishments, display my readiness to reunite our country and people speedily and hopefully, by so doing, persuade and allow the delegates to vote their consciences, if they had any. My thinking was that physically meeting with the delegates would avail them the opportunity of making futile demands of me, given the environment that we presently are, and that this would create bad blood or ill will and would not serve my cause in any way.

How then did I expect to surmount the first hurdle of the nomination was the question that dogged my every step! That rhetorical question was not enough to discourage me. I held on steadfastly to my faith in God and still hold onto my faith till this day. I am fortunate in that I had many prayer warriors of different faiths voluntarily praying for me. I had donors reaching out to me, from self-confessed paupers to well-advertised Billionaires. God knows, I appreciated every one of them and every kobo I received, which was dutifully and transparently deployed towards this mission, in addition to my own personal funds. I believe I’m a truly blessed child of God. I must note that despite the enthusiasm of most people I hardly knew, about 80 percent of my friends showed no interest whatsoever, talk less of contributing or donating their widows’ mite in cash and kind, including media traction and space. Had I been in their shoes, I definitely would have done much better by at least fulfilling all righteousness, even if by just offering kind words and prayers, and they know it. I was surprised that not even the hundreds of young mentees we had touched in the past decades could stand up boldly to acknowledge my humble contributions as a way of letting the world know and appreciate my antecedents and trajectory. Everyone knows how I’m always eternally grateful to my kindest benefactors, and I continue to do so especially in respect of the odyssey that I embarked upon. God could not have come down from heaven to help except through the uncommon grace of some great men and women who know themselves and who I give a standing ovation and offer blessings to, today and forever. Anyway. Let’s move forward.

Those who came to my rescue did so spectacularly and I promise to “retaliate” favourably whenever I’m opportune to do so. No miracle could be bigger than the divine intervention by a family friend who surfaced at the right moment when I needed to pay for my nomination form and a few other bills. I’m that quintessential child of grace and miracle baby. I received support even across party lines.

In Maiduguri, I slept in the home of my very dear friend of over two decades, Alhaji Kashim Imam Ibrahim. He actually vacated his personal bedroom for me. He left, for our ultimate use, his cars, personal aides, and everything that gave me and my team maximum comfort and protection. I reunited with so many old friends. If I ever thought Ovation International was a beautiful magazine and profitable business, it has turned out to be much more than that. It is indeed one of the greatest unifiers in Africa, for me. It has given me access to people in every part of Nigeria and the world. If I knew or even suspected how influential I was, I certainly didn’t know how wide and massive that influence was. Everywhere we went, doors opened effortlessly. There is no longer any doubt that my network is my net worth. If I gained nothing from this latest Presidential bid, I gained this revalidation of my super-brand status and I’m truly humbled.

Now, you may wish to ask the most pertinent question, how come I got not a single vote in the PDP Presidential Primary? It is not a bad question to answer. My answer remains the same: I paid for nothing and so I got nothing in a gladiatorial contest where money reigned supreme. Shikena!

I knew way back it was going to be a gambling game of the deep pockets and, of course, I won’t be able to compete against the biggest players. I also knew, according to my simple research that neither the top two contenders, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Governor Nyesom Wike, would win automatically. It was obvious some powerful forces within the PDP were working feverishly and frenetically for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and would do anything to throw the rest of us under the train. This was the reason zoning was thrown out straight away and deep into the Atlantic Ocean too, so that some foolish person would not by errant mishap find it and return it to the Party’s consciousness!

I knew, since March 2022, that Governor Wike was definitely going to join the race at some point, but I knew very certainly that this other PDP big fish was going to suffer a devastating gang-up against his audacious attempt. I actually wrote a one-of-its-kind WhatsApp message to Governor Wike and copied two of our mutual friends, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General Mr Mohammed Adoke (SAN). In the mail, I told Governor Wike how he would be emasculated and eventually humbled out of the race. I’m sure he must have thought I was joking or playing pranks. Till this day, I got no response. Governor Wike is certainly the best Governor in Nigeria, in terms of infrastructure but his enemies knew his weaknesses and waited patiently to completely obliterate him and force him completely out of the race.

I believe our Party, especially the dollar drenched delegates, also overconcentrated all attention on career politicians. I guess all concerned knew where their bread would be buttered and jammed! The party paid no attention to those who could galvanise the younger voters, young men and women and those who could generate the necessary frenzy needed to win the general elections. Now that the candidates have been chosen, we are at the point of no return.

The Southern Governors were very hard nuts to crack. Only my home Governor in Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, was ready, able and willing to see me. Northern Governors were much more accessible, humble and approachable. I was not surprised when the Southern Governors were made to eat humble pie by their more politically astute Northern counterparts. Politics is a game of huge tact and compromise. It is not a game where you wear your heart on your sleeve. You do so at your peril. Lesson learnt and assimilated. I hope others have learnt this precious lesson too.

Now that our Party has already nominated two hard core politicians to be its Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidate respectively, let me offer my sincere congratulations to the two gentlemen as well as my gracious humble advice. One, they must immediately seek to form a shadow cabinet, as I have been advocating that the Party should do for a very long time. Invite young, brilliant, intelligent, self-accomplished and cosmopolitan leaders urgently to join the team and be in the vanguard of policy making. It is obvious that the APC candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is already way ahead in this respect because he is already surrounded by too many technocrats to pick this kind of team from. Two, offer ready opportunities to women. Women are always reliable and dependable. They are also imaginative, diligent and resourceful. Three, reach out massively to Nigerians in the diaspora and tap into their huge intellect, talent, capacities, networks and resources. Four, come up with simple and achievable manifesto which puts unity, security, infrastructure, economy and education at the forefront. Five, initiate immediate dialogue with labour unions, and ASUU in particular, and find a lasting solution to the incessant strikes, even without being in government. Our Lecturers are not a bunch of egotistic and unreasonable people as they are being made out to be. They are sensitive and sensible people who only want the best for our children and educational system, especially at tertiary level. This can be achieved and will be a major gain for us and our dear beloved country.

Let me warn that it is not going to be easy to dislodge a ruling party in power. APC will not go away easily like PDP did under President Goodluck Jonathan. There was good reason why that feat was achieved, and although APC appears to have surpassed the depths plumbed by President Jonathan, it will still not be an easy task to remove the Party, particularly as it now has a formidable, developmental Presidential candidate in Bola Tinubu. Our leaders in PDP must climb down from their high horses if we must win the next set of elections in 2023.

May God help us…

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


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…

Continue Reading


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.

Continue Reading


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

Continue Reading


%d bloggers like this: