Saturday January 15,2022
By Bolaji O. Akinyemi
Dele Momodu is a media colossus that needs no introduction in the Nigerian space. An Influencer of no mean repute, a voice of opinion in our amphitheatre of politics. The Publisher of Ovation Magazine has paid his dues. From his days at Concord Press, owned by MKO Abiola, “Money, Kudi, Owo” was wealthy enough to buy Nigeria, if it was up for sale. MKO’s foray into politics was first frustrated in 1983 despite being the bankroller of National Party of Nigerian (NPN), for which Concord was formed to rival the opinion of Tribune News Paper and consequently the Influence of the Sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the South West and federation by extension.
Umaru Dikko was the voice of the “owners of Nigeria” needed for Abiola’s zeal to sleep. The country wasn’t up for auction to be grabbed by the highest bidder, he said. Abiola left Politics for what he knew best how to do; business!
He waited 10 years, a time long enough for market value to have plunged, so real owners could pick their stock back, but unfortunately it didn’t. MKO engaged with the people, his goodwill was his greatest asset and the masses bought into his vision and spoke in clear language, they were home and cool with Abiola, loud was their voices in unison across the divide of religions, tribes and tongues, but it took just one of the owners of Nigeria to send us a warning that the country belongs to them and not all of us. Obasanjo was their strategic spokesperson, he did in a simple, seemly harmless phrase, “Abiola is not the Messiah”! Their middleman took over the job to make their decision look like ours, Arthur Nzeribe through his Association for Better Nigeria, ABN, proceeded to court, made a kangaroo ruling possible, behind which “the owners of Nigeria” hid behind to annul the freest and fairest election in our history.
Momodu should know how this nation works having wined and dined at the biggest social parties and events of the 3 classes of our elites with entitlement mentality, and so spoke as one who knows, but I doubt if he was heard!
Beyond what he said, are what we must hear! Is it not too late in the day for an Aspirant without structure to step up for the race? Iyorchia Ayu sounded the importance of structure in the venture to which Momodu was throwing himself when the PDP Chairman was visited. Will Momodu’s aspiration not end up as what we are familiar with; encouraged Influencers and technocrats by political Investors and middlemen; sent to save the choice of the owners of Nigeria, by distracting the people away from promising opponents who may truncate their ownership. From the testimony of Momodu, we now know that Atiku Abubakar was preferred above Aminu Tambuwal by the owners of Nigeria as opponent to their 1st choice Muhammadu Buhari. These technocrats do not have what it takes to win an election in Nigeria but have the capacity of clout to stop those who can.
Oby Ezekwesili did a good job of this in 2019, her campaign stones were slung at no one but Atiku, whence Buhari was the Goliath! She’s of course not new in the trade if you remember what was achieved with her “Bring Back Our Girls” movement on the way to 2015.
On the 6th of February 2021, Momodu was visited by Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, a candidate possibly in the frame of hope than what he saw in Olu Falae to ask for support for his aspiration of realising his vision of becoming the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria through the platform of Peoples Democratic Party. Mazi has shown respect, same, he has given to those who should have it, the Nigerian people, porting at the portal of those who can sell him to the people during his many political consultation trips to the 36 states of Nigeria without leaving out Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Now that one of the Influencers who Mazi relied upon to rally round the prospect of productive leadership that he, Ohuabunwa represents is in for the race, we can only hope that many more of them will not jump in to make possible the shredding of ideological votes among too many candidates.
The revelation of Momodu’s last interview is all that is needed to birth the much awaited political revolution for change of ownership that must occur in 2023. The days ahead will confirm whether he was heard or not! Nothing but mass mobilisation of real owners (Nigerian masses) frustrated by hired stewards who hijack ownership should be the narrative, Christians should rise against those who demean their sacrifice of love for a Muslim/Muslim ticket in 1993. Muslims should see this season as a payback time of the love of their Christian brethren and reject those who are fanning the ember of religion, dangling the Muslim/Muslim ticket without consideration for the much needed leadership ethos for productivity; which are credibility, competence and commitment.
Before I stumbled off Momodu’s “owner of Nigeria” interview which video has gone viral, the public had contended with the arrogance of one Hon. Abdulmumin Jubrin on another viral video, who refused to answer just 2 questions put to him by Rufai Oseni on Arise TV on behalf of Nigerian public and the world at large. Jubrin, Director General of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Support Group Council, the spokeperson for the “owner of Lagos” whose ambiguous ambition is to now own Nigeria. “What is the source of Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s wealth and is real age”, Rufai asked. Harmless questions to consciences holding truth sacred! But no! Not Jubrin, nor his paymaster will speak truth out of a pure conscience. The questions to him were informed by propaganda. Rufai will not be harassed into sheathing his revolutionary sword drawn on behalf of 200 million people. “We saw the bullion vans on the eve of last presidential election he said, that is no longer a propaganda”. It is important for Tinubu to know that answers to those questions are the huddle he must overcome on his race to 2023.
Jubrin’s body language suggest that we have no such right to question his Principal”s source of wealth. He may not be far from the truth, the last employed President had no certificate to present to the masses but the owners of Nigerian were content with his NEPA bill. But someone should please tell the Nigerian political elites ravaged by poverty of the mind that time has changed!
The need for change of ownership is the objective of Momodu’s strategic communication at this time. Though, he is also up for the job and has chosen to come to the media to let the real owners know that he wants to serve them while warning us of the danger those with owners entitlement mentality will pose to the process. If Rilwan Lukmon wouldn’t dare the “owners of Nigeria”, with his International placement and connection when Momodu called him to vie with Olu Falae as his Vice President, no candidate can.
There are road blocks ahead of us in the journey to 2023, that must be dismantled if our decisions will matter and our votes will count. Mounted logs of religion and tribe must be pulled off the road and burnt down.
There are people who believe and behave as owners of this country, whose claims we really have never challenged, for their subtle communication we must watch out.
In this category are high-ranking military officers who have retired whose ownership mentality stems from the illusion that they fought the Nigeria civil war to keep Nigeria as one. This forms an air of pride around them holding the notion that without them, there wouldn’t have been a country called Nigeria, we are nothing more than spoils of war to be divided from time to time among them. This more than anything has informed Mohammadu Buhari’s engagement with IPOB as a dot in the circle.
The other class are civil rights activists whose effort forced Babangida to stepp aside, they raise the game of activism in the dark days of Abacha, the dark goggle General. This group also believe that they liberated Nigeria from the shackle of bondage during the military rule. If Tinubu is the owner of Lagos today it is the undeserving gift gifted him by the leadership of Alliance for Democracy and Afenifere that stepped down possibly a better candidate in Gentleman Funsho Williams, (the Omoluabi Eko) for Tinubu’s role in the NADECO movement. Now we all know his life long ambition is the reason fingers that fed him were bitten off their hands. This more than anything handed Fayemi the ACN tickets in Ekiti, one common denominator among these power traders camouflaging as activists is an inordinate ambition, it is obviously playing out in Fayemi whose interest now is the Villa in 2023. Though, their right like every other Nigerian, but we must resist the narrative that give advantage to individuals on the premises of fighting for the country either as soldiers or activists. We are no longer at war nor under military regime. We are in a democracy, we are in need of growth and development. Competence should be the basis!
We must not forget the middlemen in our political trading, those who after winning election on the earlier sentiment mentioned will entrench themselves in the system, negotiating for their interest without our interest. Restructuring was a song on the lips of many of them and we danced to it until they got hold of power. Now we are told APC never promised us restructuring! The jugular of the nation is held tight in the grip of their hands, they care less, if the nation suffocates to death. These are the cult of power to which you are forced to belong if you must be politically relevant in Nigeria.
We must re-invent Nigeria, re-define politics, re-examine leadership if there will be change of ownership. A country that belongs to all of us must be birthed through electoral process, one man one vote must not be a slogan, but a struggle for which we all must be mobilised. This is the RESCUE mission to which all Nigerians home and in diaspora must be committed if Nigeria must grow and develop after 2023 election.
A multimedia professional with about two decades experience in visual and text journalism.