Nigeria’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has become an issue in the unfolding contest for the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Edo State with pointers to his indirect connection with one of the major aspirants.
Though there is no established personal or business links between Dangote and Asue Ighodalo, some stakeholders in the Edo election are linking the two on account of the past links between the billionaire industrialist and the outgoing governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki.
Obaseki’s links with Dangote flow from his role as a capital market adviser to the industrialist, moves that greatly enhanced Dangote’s portfolio and turned him into a dollar billionaire.
Ighodalo, one of Nigeria’s biggest corporate players has generally been linked to Obaseki with a section of the PDP aligned to Obaseki fervently drumming support for him.
However, the mainstream of the PDP under the leadership of Chief Dan Orbih, National Vice Chairman, South-South, has also remained lukewarm towards Ighodalo and that is despite a charm offensive championed by Obaseki to restore cordiality with the party mainstream in Edo State.
In the face of this, the Dangote connection has burst out with some stakeholders in the Edo State chapter of the PDP saying that they would not allow another Dangote man after eight years of Obaseki.
The animosity against the Ighodalo connection is despite the fact that there is no clear link between the billionaire industrialist and the PDP aspirant beyond their obvious boardroom conviviality.
At the root of the animosity is the claim that Ighodalo is a direct political offspring from Obaseki who Edolites are saying May walk in the same path in disregarding the political class like the outgoing governor.