Ibe Kachikwu, the dapper oil minister, once claimed that: “The call to public service for me was unique. I was vice-president of Exxon Mobil West Africa and I was suddenly called to serve. In serving, I lose a lot of money, if not at least a million dollars every year by virtue of being a minister”.
His statement was not quite right on two fronts. Firstly, his “call to service” was not to “serve” Nigeria, but to service the interests of the godfather who gave him the oil ministry gig. That godfather, according to a Naijiant.com source, was “the banker, business and financial partner of most if not all the former military dictators (Presidents)” of Nigeria. These include Ibrahim Babangida and also former defence minister and army chief Theophilus Danjuma – both fabulously wealthy from the spoils of office.
The godfather is described by the source as current president Muhammadu Buhari’s “accountant and financier”. The source said that the godfather provided the private jet used by Buhari during his presidential campaign and was assured of the oil ministry position. Buhari even appointed Kachikwu without ever meeting him!
Secondly, Kachikwu may be earning less officially as a minister than he did at Exxon Mobil, but the oil minister can’t exactly be pleading poverty because he is making up the shortfall via other means. Since his appointment, Kachikwu has been cornering oil deals for himself at the expense of his sponsor, and the very wealthy patron, who spends most of his time in Frankfurt, Germany due to illness, is not at all pleased.
The godfather is said to have survived several assassination attempts, but remains a very powerful man in Nigeria – despite his long absences. He still flies to into Nigeria regularly. Alongside Babangida and Danjuma, the godfather tried to get former president Goodluck Jonathan to replace Diezani Madueke with Kachikwu as oil minister. Jonathan, according to our source was a “weakling [and] was afraid of Diezani. Even his wife (Patience) couldn’t get him to do anything about Diezani. They (Diezani and Patience) would get into verbal abusive confrontation whenever they met each other”.
When Jonathan refused to remove Madueke, Babangida, Danjuma and Kachikwu’s godfather decided to pitch their tent with the Buhari presidential bid. It remains to be seen what moves the godfather will make against Kachikwu’s perceived treachery.