The Lagos society is agog with a earth-shaking scandal. It is the most discussed issue amongst the elitist clique and it has generated into a hot debate among these prominent personalities as well. The scandal involves a multi-billionaire property merchant and construction magnate and a self-proclaimed female media mogul and human resources consultant.
This ebony looking corporate amazon is in her 50’s and has been divorced for over 10 years . Over the years, she has been linked with several powerful men in the business and government circles. Featuring, prominently on her list of conquests are two former governors of the Centre of Excellence, another former governor of a Sunshine state, another governor of a riverside state, two bank MDs, a billionaire oil magnate, among several others. Even her new inlaw was tagged among some of the men who finance her super wealthy lifestyle. This publicity loving lady is on the verge of becoming a grandmother; and she still considers herself a hot number.
The property magnate, who lives like a king in a castle in Lagos, has quite a reputation for being very stingy. He flaunts exotic cars and shows off his state-of-the-art mansion, but he abhors helping other people. He enjoys the company of women, but he detests spending money on them.
Now, this heavily-built billionaire was alleged to have initiated the move towards wooing the media mogul. They got talking and struck a deal to go away for a weekend tryst outside the country. Their destination? Dubai! So, the media mogul flew first class to Dubai and checked into a 5-star hotel. Her expectation was high, as she must have seen herself counting hundred of dollar notes by the time the moment of tryst ended. Also, she was reported to have planned on going on a jewelry-shopping binge before departing Dubai.
Before long, Madame was later joined by her would-be lover. They did all the ding-dong and had a most romantic moment. Feeling satiated, the construction magnate was said to have excused himself to attend a business meeting, away from the hotel. Few minutes after he left, he, reportedly called his lover and informed her he had to leave for Nigeria with his friend in a private jet, so as to seal the business deal. He apologised to the media mogul and informed her to take a white envelope he dropped by the bed stand. By the time the TV lady rummage through the envelope and counted the dollar notes, tears of regret cascaded down her face. The money barely covered the hotel bill for one night. It was then the reality and consequences of her action hit her. She had been used and had fallen victim to a one chance lover.
But if she thought she could prevent the Dubai tragedy from flittering into Nigeria, she thought wrong. Had she done her research well, she would have discovered that her billionaire lover has a mouth that runs faster than a racing car. The property magnate was alleged to have regaled his friends with the unsavoury tale of the tryst in Dubai. And before long, it became the epicentre of discussion among the movers and shakers in Lagos.
What most of the women can’t understand is how this self-professed global personality could be so dump to have been played, used and dumped by this billionaire.
This scandal has since fouled the entire Lagos atmosphere and the tv mogul has become a laughing stock among other women and men alike.
Coup de Disgrace…The Aisha Buhari/Fatima Daura Debacle: Before The ‘Cabal’ Self-Destructs
By Chinedu Okpara
If nothing else buttressed the omnipotent powers and vicelike grip of Mamman Daura, the nephew of President Muhammadu Buhari, on the presidency and the president himself, his daughter, Fatima’s brazen and embarrassing face-off with Aisha, the wife of the president, as contained in a viral video, is the ultimate coup de grace.
At the height of speculations that the president was getting a new wife rumoured to be Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, a video emerged of a raging woman inside an expansive room complaining, in an admixture of English and Hausa, of how an apartment was under lock and key in spite of the hordes of security personnel in the villa, and distinctly saying, “Enough is enough.” The video would later be revealed to have been in circulation since 2017.
In an interview with the BBC Hausa on her return from the United Kingdom where she had been for over three months, Mrs Buhari said, “I was the one in that video and this person you see standing at my back are my security personnel.” She continued, “It was Fatima, the daughter of Mamman Daura that shot the video in front of my security and everybody there. She was actually recording the whole thing right in front of me and was laughing and mocking me. They did that because my husband sacked them from the house. He told them to get all their belongings and leave the house for my son (Yusuf) to occupy. I left them and wanted to get to one of the rooms but they prevented me from getting through. I left them and took another way yet, I met the store locked.”
In a separate interview, Fatima, who admitted to recording the video, traced the relationship between her father and the president to when they were very young, how the president allocated the Glass House to them– a place originally meant for the children of a sitting president – and described the First Lady as abrasive and violent. Fatima said that when Yusuf, the first son of the president, had an accident and returned from Germany, the president asked that the Dauras vacated the Glass House for another apartment within the villa so he could convalesce. However, she said that Mrs Buhari did not wait for the time given by the president for them to vacate before she stormed the Glass House to forcefully eject them. “I recorded it to show our parents and the security so that they will know the truth should anything happen because the way she was raging and shouting, I thought that she would pick something and hit us with it or something like that. That was why we recorded it. Had it been we wanted to release the video, we would have done it earlier. But you know if a video clip enters one or two hands, you can’t control where it will get to,” she said.
What Fatima didn’t say was that long before Yusuf’s accident, Mrs Buhari had requested in writing for the Dauras to vacate the building which is officially designated for the biological children of any serving president. The IG of Police, DG DSS and the NSA were all notified of this request. Despite this, the Dauras deliberately refused to comply with the instructions of the security agencies.
Before that 2017 incident, the wife of the president never hid her disdain for some of the people around her husband. In 2016, she famously took a swipe at the cabal which she said had hijacked the presidency from Buhari, saying, “The president does not know 45 out of 50, for example, of the people he appointed and I don’t know them either despite being his wife for 27 years. Some people are sitting down at their homes folding their arms only for them to be called to come and head an agency or ministerial position.” This was in apparent reference, according to those who should know, to Mamman Daura, Abba Kyari, Lawal Daura and Isa Funtua.
If there is anyone Buhari always listened to and confided in over the years, it is Daura. This is a relationship that predated Aisha’s wedding to Buhari in 1989. Daura runs what is called the ‘Daura Mafia’ within the Buhari presidency and incidentally shares his last name with Buhari’s home town in the parched lands of Katsina.
When Buhari overthrew Shagari in 1983, Daura was one of the few people he trusted enough to give principal advisory roles. He later succeeded Ibrahim Dasuki as the head of the African International Bank and went on to serve as chairman of the board of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). Lawal Idris, an ally of Buhari for over 45years, once declared in a chat with Daily Trust that Daura controls the presidency; adding, “As long as Buhari cannot get Mamman away from his side, his problem will continue. Firstly, Mamman is a sadist and has no respect for anybody, not even Buhari. The problem is that the godfather never sleeps, which is Mamman Daura.”
Similarly, Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff, though an associate, never openly identified with Buhari’s aspirations on the three times he first contested for the presidency before luck smiled on him in 2015. In fact, throughout electioneering, Kyari played virtually no role. Yet, he currently holds the most powerful position in the government, a fact that is further lent credence with the pronouncement recently by the president that any minister that wants to see him must go through Kyari. Kyari was brought into the presidency by Daura. But it is not only this septuagenarian Daura that controls the levers of power in the presidency. There’s a younger Daura in the scheme of things.
Appointed as the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) in 2015 when Buhari was inaugurated as Nigeria’s president, Lawal Daura has a chummy relationship with Buhari as he often joins him for the Friday Jumat services inside the mosque close to the President’s office. He was born in Daura as Buhari. He was brought out of retirement to be appointed as the successor of Ita Ekpeyong as DSS DG in 2015. He was, however, sacked last year due to the invasion of the National Assembly by DSS operatives who prevented the lawmakers from gaining access into the premises. Daura may have been sacked but he still wields considerable power in the security architecture of the presidency. Now, there is a groundswell of rumours that he may be prepping to return as DG of the DSS as he has lately been sighted at the M16 in the UK and other international security agencies on behalf of Nigeria.
On June 24th, 2019, an unusual political activity took place in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. A public demonstration staged by the APC Concerned Nation Stakeholders led by one Dr Symeon Chilagorom who proclaimed that they were protesting against internal forces pulling down the administration of President Buhari. Chilagorom specifically identified Daura, Samaila Isa Funtua and Kyari as members of the group that is pulling down the administration. In his words, “the people of this country elected Muhammadu Buhari as their President, not Mamman Daura, Samaila Isa Funtua and Mall Abba Kyari.” The demonstration was widely reported in the media.
Like Mamman Daura, Funtua has no official designation in this government. Yet, he reportedly calls the shots as far as appointments of board members into most federal parastatal are concerned. He is reputed to be the ‘go-to man’ for the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria while many of the multinational deals brokered with the Federal Government were said to have passed through him. Funtua has earned the sobriquet of the money-man of the administration. Unconfirmed reports recently linked him to the acquisition of a huge amount of shares of defunct Etisalat and Keystone Bank.
These are the people Mrs Buhari has been waging a war with privately and publicly. Even though she did not explicitly say what she was doing in the UK for that long, feelers are that she took a break from the whole drama as she prepares to break the hold of the cabal on her husband and Nigeria as a whole. And, it is a mission that the generality of Nigerians seem to be battle-ready to help her win especially with the revelation of the disrespect meted out to her by Fatima.
Chinedu Okpara is an Owerri, Imo State based Public Affairs Analyst.
Aminu succeeds Egbemode as MD/EIC New Telegraph
The Board of Directors, Daily Telegraph Publishing Company Limited, publishers of New Telegraph Newspaper, on Tuesday approved the appointment of Mr. Ayodele Aminu as the new Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of the media house.
Aminu whose appointment takes immediate effect takes over from the former MD/EIC, Mrs Funke Egbemode who has been nominated as Commissioner-designate in Osun State.
Until his appointment, Aminu was Deputy Managing Director of the company and former Editor, Business.
Over the past two decades, Aminu has been a financial journalist in THISDAY and Business Editor, The Nation before joining New Telegraph. His expertise covers finance, capital market, industry and energy.
The new MD holds a Higher National Diploma in Mass Communication from The Polytechnic, Ibadan (Upper Credit) and has attended many international trainings locally and internationally, including the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring and Annual General Meetings.
The Board of the company thanked Mrs. Egbemode for her immense contributions to the growth of the newspaper in the last four years as the Chief Executive Officer.
Her tenure according to the board witnessed steady remarkable growth, which led to the acquisition of a corporate head office in Lagos and winning of several awards, both within and outside Nigeria.
In her leave-of-absence letter to the Board chairman, Egbemode said she was leaving New Telegraph fulfilled and would be ready to always lend her support to the company whenever her services were required.
Mr Bigg’s Remodels Restaurant, Raises Ante In Customers’ Lifestyle Experience
Mr Bigg’s, the Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) arm of UACN of Nigeria, being run by its subsidiary, UAC Restaurants Limited has begun the remodeling its restaurants in a new initiative aimed at positively redefining the lifestyle of its numerous customers
The new business initiative centered on a remodeled restaurant structure is principally aimed at sustaining the heritage and leadership of the 33 years old outfit by raising customer service to a new level.
The foremost indigenous and largest fast-growing QSR business in West Africa, with over 100 restaurants in Nigeria. On inception, the business operated a fully owned restaurant operations model before it transformed in partial franchise, and later into full franchise restaurant operations model.
The new initiative according to Mrs. Ethel Mba, Marketing Manager, UACN Restaurants, will remodel the restaurants into a scintillating center of high value having a 21st century ambience.
Speaking at the pioneer model Restaurant located at Northwest Filling Station by the Victoria Garden City, VGC, Lekki, Lagos, during a media tour of some restaurants on Wednesday, Mba added that the new approach promises to sustain excellence in wide variety of dishes, Patries and Confectionaries to the delight of its teeming consumers, which is the heritage of Mr Bigg’s.
She explained that VGC outlet which was opened on the 9th of July, 2019 will remain the ‘signature poster’ for all the other restaurants in the new concept, aimed at bringing world class service and ambience to satisfy the taste of Nigerians in terms of meals.
The VGC restaurants boosts of cozy ambience, call center and kiddies corner backed up by excellent service delivery professionals to give customers un-parallel experience in a friendly and family setting. The conveniences, the eating area and the lobby are world-class, coupled with a play area for the kids.
Mba assured that apart from the VGC Center, two more restaurants will spring up at Amuwo Odofin in Festac town and Abule Egba along Lagos Abeokuta Express Way very soon.
“The new restaurants will be patterned after the structure of the Lekki restaurant to deliver high-quality food and good ambience as the basic standard. Aside this, the menu range will be equal and well-balanced in terms of meal choices depending on customers’ tastes or new trends,” she said.
Not a few customers agree that no restaurant can survive without offering quality food and service aimed at giving patrons a satisfying experience.
For example, Mrs. Bunmi Olanrewaju who came to the VGC restaurant with her kids asserts that a good family restaurant is the one that offers comfort food that reminds people of the favorite meals their mothers cooked when they were kids.
She recalled with excitement that products like the Mr Bigg’s Meat Pie, Chicken Pie, and Scotch Eggs are legendary and still remains the best.
Other patrons averred that In terms of comfort, the new outlet is well cut out with space wide enough to avoid congestion and movement interruptions.
Mr Bigg’s history began with the coffee shops inside Kingsway Department Stores in the 1960s. In 1973, these shops were rebranded as Kingsway Rendezvous, which became Mr Bigg’s in 1986. The chain saw rapid expansion after becoming one of the first Nigerian companies to sell franchises to investors.
In 2012, UAC Restaurants adopted a full franchising business model making it the first to establish company owned restaurants in other to grow the brand footprint and equity
UAC Restaurants Ltd has since then owned and operated quick service restaurants with a range of products including her signature Meat pie, Chicken pie & Beef roll, Rice and Peppered Chicken, Ice cream, Pizza, and locals meals.
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