Peter’s Cross… How Igbinedion Walked Femi Otedola Out Of His House…. And Got Served Years Later! - Welcome to Uju Ayalogu's Blog

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Saturday, 14 July 2018

Peter’s Cross… How Igbinedion Walked Femi Otedola Out Of His House…. And Got Served Years Later!

Peter’s Cross… How Igbinedion Walked Femi Otedola Out Of His House…. And Got Served Years Later!

In business circuits, the name Femi Otedola resonates like a soothing whirr of fresh breeze; many would compare him to the fresh verdure of the field that leads the dancing Naiads through the dewy meads.

Yeah! the chairman of Forte Group, like all great Nigerians, commands such infinite acclaim effortlessly and quite emphatically too.

As a young adult, Femi aspired to greatness and self-actualization, driven by the belief that a man’s reach should always exceed his grasp. He reached for the moon, knowing that if his grasp missed its cusp, his hands may land on the stars.

And his hands landed on the stars. Ultimately, he started out daring mighty things, in pursuit of glorious triumphs.

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Yes, blessed with vigorous optimism, a boots-on-the-ground approach to his endeavours, an unflinching belief in destiny (read God), it did not come as any surprise that barely a decade after he ventured into the oil and gas business, Otedola, the billionaire mogul was leading older, more established players in the industry by the hand.

However, some days ago, at the book launch of Bashorun Dele Momodu, Otedola, in his speech, spoke about how he intervened in the release of Bashorun MKO Abiola and how Peter Igbinedion walked him out of his house in Ikoyi.

Hear him,  “My late father thought Chief Abiola will make a great president because of his deep wisdom, expansive heart and pan-Nigerian outlook.

A sad reminder of his arrest in 1994 was a picture of him alighting from a black Maria. Upon this, I called Ibrahim Abacha and requested to see him and we met at the southwest Ikoyi residence of Mr. Peter Igbinedion, the then MD of FAAN.

I told Ibrahim to tell his Dad to release MKO as it was not fair for a man who was being denied his mandate to be so humiliated by being put in a black Maria, to which our host, Peter, interjected by saying “who is this?” and he swiftly walked to the door holding it open and walked me out of his residence .

I later ran into Mr. Igbinedion at Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s London residence in 2013 and he was begging for my number. How tables have turned.

We witnessed a man who abandoned the worldly comforts his wealth assured and was transformed in the fight for his mandate, believed in it and died for it.

I have studied Chief Abiola’s life in politics, philanthropy and most importantly building people, and his doggedness, fairness, goodness and good heart are traits that should be emulated. He was a man for all seasons.

I wonder what it would have been like if Chief Abiola was sworn in as president. Did we lose the opportunity to become the Dubai of Africa? Would Nigeria have surmounted the developmental challenges we face in health, education and industrialization? Your guess is as good as mine.

Once again, my dear brother accept my congratulations and thank you for the opportunity to speak about Chief MKO Abiola”.
F. Ote$

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