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A Toast to Globacom Chairman, Dr Mike Adenuga Jnr



By Michael Effiong


It is just like yesterday when Nigerians awoke to the birth Globacom, the only indigenous telecommunications company and national carrier-and 19 years after, it has become one of the most recognisable brands not only in Nigeria but on the continent of Africa and beyond.

The monumental success of Globacom can be attributed to the vision of the company’s chairman, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr, GCON. Fondly called the Great Guru or most recently, the “Spirit Of Africa” as christened by our Publisher, Dele Momodu, Adenuga’s persona as a hard-working risk taker, towering symbol of enterprise, undisputed game changer and  someone with an unquenchable quest for excellence are all encapsulated in Globacom.

Globacom, like its Chairman entered the market in a bullish and bold way. The per second billing that the foreign-owned operators had said was impossible was implemented on day one. And with that audacious step, Globacom democratized the telecommunications industry and has catapulted him to the position of Nigeria’s richest billionaire by far.

Though Forbes Rich List will tell you other wise, Adenuga with his investments in oil & gas, telecommunications, financial services, construction real estate and more has no rival. But he likes it the way it is at the moment because he will never give out his financial data or details. He likes to keep us all guessing, while he is smiling to the bank every second!

But who really is Mike Adenuga? Adenuga is one of the very few humans in the world that is in a world of his own. He is comparable to no one-an enigmatic personality who is a typical Taurean: Tough as nails, audacious, patient and very reliable.

It is because of his zodiac sign that some call him The Bull. He has the insignia of the bull almost everywhere around him. Indeed, a bull is part of his personal crest. This is easily recognisable on all personal correspondences and envelopes. When you arrive Globacom’s Corporate Headquarters in Nigeria aptly named: Mike Adenuga Towers, you are welcome by an intimidating bronze bull sculpture, just like the famous charging bull that stands proudly on the famous Wall Street in New York. That is not all, the Headquarters of one his companies, Conoil in Marina, Lagos is called The Bull Plaza and golden bull sculptures are used to accentuate his new home in Banana Island, Ikoyi in Lagos.

His bullish nature is not only by pictures or sculptures, he breathes it, lives it and exhibits it in real life. Just like an ill prepared matador gets ripped, Adenuga, The Bull, usually crushes those who underestimate him or take him for granted.

He is a stickler for perfection who has zero tolerance for sloppiness or indolence, that is why the minutest of details in his operations interest him. He is not one of those arm-chair businessmen, he is hands-on and that always strives for nothing but the best, and his never-give-up attitude is exemplary.

Perhaps a good indication of his penchant for turning one’s travail to triumph was the birth of Globacom. With Globacom, he showed that failure is not final but an avenue to show your inner strength and strong will. For him, impossible is non existent.

The American owner of Orlando Magic basket ball team said ” The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants in life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe it is possible”

This point was also reaffirmed by Orison Swett Marden, Author and Founder of Success Magazine, who said “Great men have found no royal road to their triumph. It is always the old route by way of industry and perseverance”.

 His initial setback in the telecoms industry was enough to break any ordinary businessman, but not Adenuga. In 2001, the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) announced that the nation was ready to auction Global System Mobil (GSM) licences and called for bids.

At the end of the process, four companies, including Adenuga’s Communications Investment Limited (CIL) were declared winners. Everyone was to make a mandatory payment of $20million (Twenty million dollars) as commitment and then pay $265million as licence fee in 14 days.

While Adenuga was in the process of making payment, his technical team discovered a problem. They found that his allocated frequency was in dispute.  He was now in dilemma, should he pay such a huge amount on a venture that is a subject of litigation or withdraw? The lion-hearted Adenuga decided to effect payment with a condition as any smart businessman would do to protect himself. To his chagrin, government announced that CIL failed to meet the payment deadline and the licence was revoked.

Mike Jituboh, Globacom’s Executive Director, Special Duties who was part of the CIL team during the 3-day auction recalled the painful incident in an interview with Technology Times of Nigeria.

According to him “A day after winning one of the three GSM licences, a CIL team led by Adenuga  (an evidence of his penchant for being hands-on and in the thick of action) headed for Paris for negotiations with BNP Paribas. After several days of protracted negotiations, agreements were reached on terms and conditions for a loan facility for $265million for paying the balance for the GSM licence. The deadline for payment was 5pm of February 9th, on that fateful day, all was set for a transfer by SWIFT instruction then word came in from our colleagues in Lagos that the frequecncy allocated to CIL was the same as the one hitherto allocated to Motophone, owned by the Chagoury’s. The later was in court to challenge the frequency’s withdrawal.

“With its assigned frequency under litigation and the deadline of payment almost elapsing, we had to decide whether or not to pay the huge sum of $265million. With no time left to resolve this knotty issue with the government, we decided to make payment with the condition that the money should be released after the government gives CIL indemnity to cover the possibility of Motophone’s winning its suit and retaining the litigious frequency”

“Consequently, payment of $265million was made by BNP Paribas before the deadline directly to the JP Morgan, New York designated account along with the aforementioned condition.

“As most Nigerians will recall the government rejected the condition and cancelled the CIL licence. The government refused all entreaties and the funds were eventually returned to BNP Paribas” This first hand account puts paid to the rumours that made the rounds at the time that CIL licence was cancelled because Adenuga did not have the funds to pay.

His elder brother, Otunba Ademola Adenuga had this to say about that setback ” Mike lost $20million but he never lost hope. He never gave up hope, that is one thing about my brother, he is an eternal optimist. Something kept propelling him not to give up on the matter”

And like the dogged fighter that he is, Adenuga took that upper firmly on the chin, brushed it aside and waited for another opportunity. And that opportunity soon came in August 2002.

The government decided to embark on another auction of licences, and interestingly, this was a bigger pie as it was about to sell the Second National Operator (SNO). The licence entitles the winner to operate a GSM, fixed wireless and more. The price was even lower $200million. Omnitel Nigeria Limited, AFZI (Telecommunications ) Limited and CIL now rechristened Globacom met the deadline-and it was only Globacom after paying the initial $20 that was able to pay the remaining $180 million and that was how Globacom was born.

Through Globacom, Adenuga is propagating his philosophies of life to the African continent. Glo has taught us to “Glo with Prride”, It has encouraged us to “Rule The World”, it has helped us to believe that opportunities for success on “Are Unlimited” and has reinforced the spirit of dedication by urging us all to start “Driving To Future” success.

Apart from spreading these messages of hope, it is an indigenous brand that elicits pride in all Africans for its top notch service and consistent innovation. Its contribution to sports, entertainmet and culture has been massive. Glo is it! Little wonder that Adenuga so believes in his brand that he sometimes personally voices commercials!

Despite his humongous success, some people still habour the long-worn story that he is fronting for some people. Those who are close to the Chairman laugh derisively at these set of people.

Those close to him have since confirmed that Adenuga is not a fan of partnership. The business guru is a one man riot squad who likes to be the main man and not part of an orchestra because he has his own set of rules.

All the business ventures he has been involved in, he reports to no one except God Almighty.

Yes, he loves God. He strongly believes in the God factor in the affairs of men and that is why as true Catholic, he goes almost everywhere with his chaplet, sometimes he is silent in prayers. He also has his own chapel at his expansive home.

He knows full well though that prayer alone is not the key and that is reason he is a workaholic. He has very little interests outside his business.

He is the sort of billionaire who loves his work. Like Rupert Murdoch, another hard work-loving fanatic said, Adenuga also believes that “Working is not a means to an end, it’s the end”. He has his own terms and time of doing things.

And that is why he chooses those around him carefully, he is someone who cherishes loyalty to the max and pays loyal workers handsomely. The work can be back-breaking, including putting in you all at odd hours but the reward for working close or for the guru is usually handsome.

Talking of reward, he is one of Nigeria’s most open-hearted and silent philanthropists. He is extremely generous and gives without much fanfare. His philanthropy budget is indescribable and touches so many lives.  He never forgets people who have been good to him. His official donations are now channeled through the Mike Adenuga Foundation.


And maybe because of this innate propensity to give, he steers clear of many people, he is not one of those we see at every social event. He is very private and strict about his security which we gathered was due to an incident many years back. Even at his company’s functions, it is no longer news that Adenuga will be absent. He has his own set of rules.

This not mean he does not create time to relax, he usually catches his fun with inner circle of family and friends. There they banter and share fund moments. As a connoisseur of fine wine and exotic spirits, they savour these beverages, munch on hors d’oeuvre and gourmet meals. It at occasions  like these that his joie de vivre becomes obvious.

To his children though, he is their dear doting dad. He, like his late sweet mother, Chief (Mrs) Oyindamola Adenuga, who was his business mentor, is firm but fair.

He always tries to show them the right path and now he has within the family, a chip of the old block, in his daughter, Mrs Bella Disu, who is is breaking barriers in the business world not only as Executive Vice Chairman of Globacom but sits atop the board of top companies including as non Executive Director at Construction giants, Julius Berger.

Mrs Disu once told Ovation in an exclusive interview that her father is very caring but firm. According to her when they were younger he encouraged them to play the piano, the family used to have carols at home during Christmas. “It used to be fun and the best piano player got good gifts” she reminisced.

Then she added “He has always said that he would never stand in our way if we are follwing the right path. He dotes on us so much more that other regular fathers would

Without any shadow of doubt, through Globacom, he has firmly planted his feet on the sands of time, and the world is proud of this prodigious son of Africa. We are all proud of his accomplishments and that is why as Globacom clocks 19, we raise a toast to the Chairman of Chairmen, Dr Mike Adenuga Jnr, GCON.

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PDP Suspends National Chairman, Ayu at Ward Level




The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday announced the suspension of its National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, for alleged anti party activities.

Ayu was suspended by the PDP Ward Executives of his Igyorov Ward in Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State.

The PDP Ward Secretary, Vangeryina Dooyum, on behalf of Kashi Philip, who is the Ward chairman, told journalists in Makurdi, that the national chairman’s suspension followed his alleged anti party activities.

The secretary in a statement signed by 12 out of the 17 member Ward Executives, noted that the decision to suspend the National Chairman was reached after the leadership reviewed his conduct at the end of the just concluded general elections.

The secretary, who was flanked at the press conference by the ward chairman and other members of executive, read from the statement which announced Ayu’s suspension.

“We observed with utmost dismay that, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu who is the National Chairman of the PDP worked against the success of the party in Igyorov Council Ward.

“It is on record that, he has also failed to pay his Annual Subscription Fees as provided under Section 8 (9) of the constitution of the PDP 2017 (As Amended).

“Further investigation also revealed that, he did not vote during the Governorship and State Assembly Elections held on March 18, 2023.

“It was also discovered that, most of his closest allies worked for the opposition party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) and hence, the abysmal performance of the PDP in Igyorov Ward.

“In view of the foregoing, we hereby pass a Vote of No Confidence on Dr. Iyorchia Ayu and suspend him as a member of our party with immediate effect. The suspension takes effect from March 24, 2023.”

Recall that the PDP at the state level during the weekend passed a vote of confidence on Governor Samuel Ortom, whom the national chairman’s led executive at the apex level referred to its disciplinary committee.

The PDP in Benue State passed a vote of confidence on Ortom for what they described as his steadfast loyalty and selfless, sacrificial leadership to the party.

State Publicity Secretary of PDP, Bemgba Iortyom, in a statement signed on behalf of the party’s state working committee in Makurdi at the weekend called on its national body to rescind decision referring the governor to its disciplinary body.

“We have noted with grave concern the action taken yesterday by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party in referring Governor Samuel Ortom to its Disciplinary Committee to answer to charges of anti party activities preferred against him.

“Benue PDP finds it difficult to understand the rationale by which anti party activities are determined at the National Secretariat by the NWC such as sees one out of the G-5 Governors singled out for punitive action on ground of that offence, and what the procedure is for meting out punitive measures against such anti party activities where some persons including Professor Dennis Ityavyar having been suspended without facing any disciplinary Committee.

“The party feels strongly that in fulfilling its duty as a state chapter it must remind the NWC of the implications of its current action against Governor Ortom and others.

“It is, therefore, a motion of the Benue PDP SWC that a Vote-of-Confidence be passed on Governor Samuel Ortom for his steadfast loyalty and selfless, sacrificial leadership to our great party, PDP.

“We equally call on the NWC to explore exhaustively options towards fostering reconciliation, unity, re-branding and repositioning of the party to recover its lost glory,” the statement reads partly.

The party further argued that the action runs in contempt of a subsisting court injunction restraining PDP at all levels from taking any punitive action against the Benue State Governor pending the determination of a substantive suit which is lying before a court of competent jurisdiction on the matter.

Daily Trust

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Declare Ogun Guber Polls Inclusive, Order Re-run, Group Tells INEC




A group, under the aegis of Vanguard for Democracy and Good Governance, has called on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to desist from issuing the certificate of return to the Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun.

In what it earlier term a ‘sham’, the group had earlier called on INEC to review the result of the just concluded governorship election in the state as, according to it, the election did not produce a winner yet.

In a communique made available to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, the group urged INEC to not issue a certificate of return to Governor Abiodun, as the governorship election is inconclusive by all standards.

“While we commend INEC on the introduction of the bimodal voter accreditation system (BVAS) and the result viewing portal (IREV) which have largely improved electoral conduct in the country, we make bold to say that the election in Ogun State, despite being marred with all forms of electoral malpractices, still did not produce a winner, in accordance with the Electoral Act.

“As clearly observed, INEC flippantly went ahead to announce a winner rather than declaring it inconclusive, as the margin between the top two leading candidates is far lesser than the total number of cancelled votes in some areas. In this case, the difference between Governor Dapo Abiodun of the APC who polled 276,295 and the 262,383 votes polled by Ladi Adebutu of the PDP was only 13,912, with cancelled votes amounting to 33,750.

“The Electoral Act 2022 is clear on what should be done in such circumstance. We hereby refer INEC to the article in our supreme Electoral Act which states that, “Where the difference between the winner and the loser is less than cancelled vote, the results should be inconclusive.”

“This particular case is one fraudulent one and INEC need do the needful rather than taking steps that attract an avoidable litigation and put the commission in bad light.

“On this note, we enjoin INEC to embrace justice by withholding the certificate of return in the Ogun guber until a rerun election is declared and conducted,’ the statement read in part.

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Osun: Governor Adeleke Floors Oyetola at Appeal Court




The Court of Appeal on Friday set aside an earlier election tribunal verdict that declared Gboyega Isiaka of the All Progressives Congress as the winner of the last Osun state governorship election.

The court in its ruling confirmed Ademola Adeleke of the People’s Democratic Party as the winner of the election.

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