By Odilim Enwegbara
There is no need for a denial. Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola are not partisan politicians; they don’t belong to any party and couldn’t have, therefore, been named members of the “APC Presidential Campaign Council.” But they could still perform more strategic roles as members of the “APC Special Advisory Council.” What’s in a name anyway? Nobody is fooled.
I have credible intelligence revealing why Dangote and Otedola have suddenly joined the Buhari presidential campaign. It concerns Dangote’s readiness to roll out billions of naira in campaign finance support.
There have been some last-minute deals which, if allowed to happen, would make Dangote among the 10 richest people in the world, and make Nigeria a Dangote incorporated entity.
What are these irresistible deals offered to Dangote? And why must Dangote carry Otedola along?
The two big deals involve the sale of the country’s four refineries to Dangote’s foreign business partners. This is to avoid anyone raising an eyebrow or fear that Buhari is selling such important assets directly to Dangote in exchange for partly financing his campaign.
The game plan here is that once the refineries are sold as scrap by the federal government, the so-called foreign owners would so run them down that the federal government would announce that it would be taking back these refineries. Once this happened, the next announcement from the same federal government would be that it has found Dangote and Otedola as the local buyers and who have what it takes to own and manage the four refineries. Eventually, the federal government would pretend as if circumstances were forcing it to hand them to the two at a little fee.
Otedola, it was gathered, will get two of the four refineries. And for him to focus on these deals, he was advised to quickly divest in Forte Oil Plc., which is debt-ridden.
The second irresistible deal is Ajaokuta Steel Company. The same strategy used in the sale of the refineries would be applicable in the sale of Ajaokuta.
Dangote, I learned, was also reminded how good Buhari has been to his business. In particular he was reminded how he enjoyed the lowest forex rates – they were far below official rates – which the presidency mandated the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide for him in the name of forex for Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical. That was besides the gas-for-fertiliser deal the Dangote Group and the OCP Group of Morocco signed in late 2016, which was facilitated by the federal government.
In return, the Buhari Campaign has asked Dangote to support Buhari’s re-election with some undisclosed billions of naira as campaign support.This request from Dangote is besides the N500 billion — I repeat, N500 billion — that has already been mapped out for vote buying: it is expected to buy as many as 25 million votes at N20, 000 for each vote.
There are two dangerous implications here.
First, with these deals Dangote may soon become Nigeria’s and Africa’s Rockefeller, the same man whose capability to buy over American politicians was able to destroy America’s capitalist system, as he turned America into his private empire. And with his complete access to the US federal government, not only did he create oil cartels, he went as far as creating monopolies across industries, which he used in destroying any form of competition and buying over those he couldn’t destroy, including all potential competitors. That this led post-war US’ de-industrialization and economic financialization explains why America is yet to recover and become a leading global manufacturing hub like Japan, Germany and recently China and India.
Second, like the same Rockefeller, Dangote could, on becoming so rich and so much involved in Nigerian politics and political campaign financing, literally decide who will be elected as federal lawmakers along with who will be elected governors of the 36 states and, of course, who will become Nigeria’s president.
With this newly handed political power by Buhari via this on-going game, Dangote would, apart from having his cronies populating the three tiers of government, including the judiciary, also ensure that his cronies head virtually all the ministries, departments and agencies of government including the police, the military, DSS, immigration, and of course the Federal Inland Revenue Service, customs, and the anti-graft agencies.
If Nigerians allowed Buhari to win and get these deals concluded, then, they would live to regret it, just as Americans are yet to free themselves from Rockefeller’s control of both America’s economy and politics. For instance, Dangote would be the person to control the country’s foreign policies and its trade policies. Above all, he would decide the country’s fiscal and monetary policies, given that it is his cronies who would be populating the country’s ministries of foreign affairs and finance. It also means that the CBN would be so under his control to the extent that he could decide from time to time who would be appointed the governor and deputy governors.
During the three weeks of top secret negotiations between Dangote and the Buhari Campaign headed by the powerful cabal, it was learned, there was intense fear that if Atiku was allowed to win the presidential election, which is increasingly becoming evident, the Dangote business built on government cronyism would suffer a terrible setback.
Starting with Atiku’s plan to restructure the country, there is the fear that a restructured Nigeria would make it extremely difficult for Dangote’s oil blocks to remain in his hands. But most important is the fate of Dangote Refinery which has been freely taking the South-South’s oil and gas simply in connivance with the federal government.
Dangote fears that an Atiku presidency will lead to privatising the four refineries and handing them to real serious investors. The new owners of the refineries will no doubt bring competition and force down high pump prices of fuel. With his refinery nearing completion, Dangote is planning to unleash high fuel prices on Nigerian consumers.
Maybe most Nigerians do not know that it is as a result of Dangote’s monopoly of cement that the commodity costs the highest in Nigeria. What about salt, sugar, flour, pasta, beverages, tomato paste, Indomie, and rice? Others are real estate, furniture, garments, motor spare part, tyre, battery, telecommunications, and SunTrust Bank secretly established in 2016. Dangote is the majority shareholder of the bank. Dangote’s plans, which Buhari’s cabal is excited about, is to soon put millions of small businesses in the country completely out of business.
But more dangerous is that he is about to join the GMO foods production. What this means is that, soon, you and I will begin to eat Dangote cancer-causing processed foods such as carrot, corn, rice, potato, orange, pineapple, papaya and cabbage. And Dangote’s political and economic power? No one can ever try to stand in his way without expecting to be crushed! There are Dangote police in most of our cities already.
The strategic sole aim of these businesses – including Dangote’s forthcoming retail business chain that will soon be seen littering Nigerian cities, known as Danmart – will put millions of our small retail business owners out of business. If this should be allowed to happen, it might no longer be difficult for him to also impose his planned monopoly prices on other petroleum products, petrochemicals and fertiliser.
In the meantime Obasanjo is alarmed. Also alarmed are other powerful generals who are already in possession of information about what is feared to happen to Nigeria should Buhari force himself on Nigerians through vote buying and outright election rigging.
Buhari’s re-election is like an atomic bomb that must not be allowed to explode in Nigeria. In particular, it would trigger ethnic and religious conflicts in Nigeria — with millions caught up in civil turmoil that will force them to head for neighbouring West African countries, other African countries and potentially Europe as refugees. However, there is already an agreement among world leaders that everything should be done to stop Buhari’s re-election in order to save Nigeria from internal disintegration.
It was on the basis of this frightening scenario that, as far back as July 2018, concerned world leaders agreed that the only way to avert such post-election ethnic and religious crisis in Nigeria is to not allow Buhari steal a second term. Those who had access to this global consensus know that has since sealed Buhari’s hope of being re-elected Nigeria’s president.
Because die-hard supporters of Buhari do not have access to this damning intelligence report on Nigeria, they are understandably still shouting “Buhari is going to win” the February 16 presidential election. Had they seen that report, or understood the fear that any attempt to declare him winner would instantly ignite revolts across the country – they could start in Port Harcourt and spread like wildfire to Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Kaduna, Onitsha, Ibadan, etc. –the die-hard Buharists definitely wouldn’t be shouting “Buhari must win”.
Understandably, Nigeria’s powerful retired generals such as Obasanjo, IBB, Gusau, Danjuma, and Abdulsalami Abubakar who are in possession of that report are doing everything to save Nigeria from a second civil war that could bring to an end the nation we all call ours.
Enwegbara, a development economist can be reached at [email protected]