House 19 for 2015 election
Chuks Okocha looks at the purpose of the Victory Democratic Konsult, which many allege to be the 2015 campaign office for President Goodluck Jonathan
The one-storey building located at 19 Alex Ekwueme Way, Jabi, Abuja, near NISA Fertility Hospital, is causing ripples. Painted white with a high fence and private security guards, some politicians say the house is the campaign office for President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election bid in 2015. But the chairman of Victory Democratic Konsult, Alhaji Habu Fari, explains that they are into political and management consultancy.
According to him, “We have heard what people say, that this office is for President Goodluck Jonathan campaign office for his re-election in 2015. My answers are simple. We are very much into political consultancy, a new phenomena in political engineering borrowed from the American system.”
Fari, himself a politician, has worked as a former national secretary of the Democratic Party of Nigeria, pioneer national administrative secretary of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, former national chairman of the National Democratic Party, and recently the chief of staff to the national chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
On whether VDK works for Jonathan, Fari says, “If President Jonathan approaches us to work as consultants to him, we will be delighted to do it. Is he not a politician? Is he not a Nigerian?
“We consult for all categories of politicians, like those who want to be governors, members of the national and state assemblies and others. We are duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission to do the work of consultancy.”
According to a copy of the Certificate of Registration of Business name issued by CAC, with the number NS1020, belonging to VDK, obtained by THISDAY, the organisation’s briefs include “guidance and counselling, management consultancy and general contracts.” It was issued on September 4, 2012.
THISDAY further gathered that the organisation has two serving Professors of Political Science as directors. They are the former Minister of Education, Professor Tunde Adeniran and Professor Fred Onyeoziri, a former political adviser to an ex-PDP National Chairman; Hon (Mrs.) Chinwe Monu-Olarewaju, a former Delta State House of Assembly member and former Commissioner for Commerce & Industry in Delta State; Engr Omeni Sobotie, a former Commissioner for Environment and former political adviser to Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan; and an ex-banker turned politician, Mallam Ibrahim Sidi Bamalli; pioneer National Director of Youth Affairs of PDP and Special Adviser (Finance and Investment) to the PDP national chairman as the coordinating director of the consultancy outfit.
Fari emphasises the pedigree of members of the consult. “As you know, we are a consultancy outfit that is into guidance and counselling, management and political consultancy. Professor Tunde Adeniran is widely known as a leading scholar in political strategy and public policy while Professor Fred Onyeoziri has built a reputation over the years as a theoretician and great researcher in democratic processes. They are fully involved in research that would be very useful in making recommendations to our clients.”
On their relationship with the Minister of Niger Delta, Elder Godsday Orubebe, the chairman of VDK says, “He is a friend and so it remains.”
Fari further clarifies that he was never an aide of former military president Ibrahim Babangida, but an associate. “I was never an aide of General Babangida. He was a political associate. It is better to put it at that.” But one notable feature of the coordinating staff of VDK is that they are members of PDP.