Tuesday, 15 November 2016


Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has dismissed reports of his being wooed by powerful close-knit, Northern power brokers, who call the shots in Aso Rock, to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

Dangote, the president of the sprawling international business conglomerate, Dangote Group, told The Authority exclusively, yesterday, that he “has no interest in politics, now or in the future,” and that he is “an entre¬preneur and has his hands full already.”

The president of Dangote Group further stressed to The Authority that he “has enough challenges to keep him busy,” and that he is “not a politician but a professional entre-preneur.”

When reminded that the current US President-elect Donald Trump is also a successful business mogul who never had experience in government, Dangote, who didn’t want to be drawn out on the matter, stated that “the Nigerian setting is different from the US setting.”

In further clarification, Mr. Anthony Chiejina, Group Head, Corporate Communications, Dangote Group, who spoke on behalf of Dangote, to The Authority on phone stated that, “As a professionally run organisation with the interest of its share¬holders in mind, we don’t think politics is our priority.”

Chiejina, who stated that the shark-infested waters of Nigeri¬an politics, strewn with banana peels, remain outside the partici¬patory vision of his principal.

“He has enough challenges in business to keep him extremely busy,” Chiejina stated.

The Authority had reported in its lead story on Monday that with President Muhammadu Buhari barely two years in office, members of his kitchen cabinet, who have constituted themselves into a cabal, are already looking for his successor.

Their actions are prompted by growing questions over al¬leged governance deficits of President Buhari’s tenure.

The Authority learnt that members of the cabal running Aso Rock are no longer comfortable with Buhari’s performance and are worried that the North could lose the Presidency in 2019 if nothing was done urgently.

Leading members of the cabal are largely from Adamawa, Borno and Katsina States.

Sources also confirmed to The Authority that the high-stake game is borne out of the deep knowledge of the President’s health, which has fuelled specula¬tions that Buhari may not run for a second term on health grounds.

Age is also not on his side. Born on December 17, 1942, President Buhari would be close to 77 years old by 2019.

Consequently, the North, which fought tooth and nail to re¬trieve power from the South, has started looking beyond Buhari.

The Authority further gathered that Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, who, like the United States President-elect, Donald Trump, lacks any prior experience in government, has been fingered by the cabal as a worthy replace¬ment for Buhari, come 2019.

But with his incisive rebuttal of such ambition, Dangote has firmly rested such permutations involving him ahead of 2019 - at least for now.

Source:Authority Newspaper

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