Pomp at Dapo Abiodun’s 56th Anniversary


Bliss resides in the cockles of Dapo Abiodun’s heart, as you read. The sun shines brilliantly, bathing him in the radiant beams of a promising future. The Heyden Oil boss still pulsates with unrestrained joy as he basks in the afterglow of celebration and warm wishes he enjoyed on his 56th birthday.

On May 29, Dapo clocked 56, and he once again, reaffirmed his worth and inestimable value in the eyes and hearts of his loved ones. The guests thronged his residence in a circus of conformity on the D-day. They trooped to his residence the way the early sunshine weaves its light through darkness. However, they kept it casual and very simple with élan, just the way the celebrant wanted them to appear. The event was indeed a memorable one. As the party kicked off, his Temple residence shook from the base to the rafters as the deluge of encomiums and applause caused its hallowed chambers to tilt in his honour.

The elaborate event, which paraded top politicians, respected monarchs, society big wigs and captains of industry, had the Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, in attendance. Other dignitaries at the event included Nigeria’s powerbrokers, oil magnates, bank chiefs, and industry titans with stakes across the country’s business sectors. Dapo treated his guests to good and delightful music. As the woofers belted out familiar, evergreen tunes, their hair stood on end and they tipped over in merriment – their joy spilling from their souls into the air and sky high. Enthralled, the guests moved in gaiety, tap dancing and swaying to the beat as if they meant to enact a madhouse jamboree with the tenacity and agility of veteran dance and music buffs.

Guests at the party were treated to the choicest liquor and sumptuous meals made by the finest caterers. It no doubt warmed the cockles of the celebrant’s heart to see dignitaries at the event smack their lips in pleasure as they devoured the sumptuous meals and drinks offered to them at his anniversary. We saw Aliko Dangote, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Willie and Nkiru Anumudu, Bayo Abdul, Capt. Francis Ogboro, Lanre Ogunlesi, Muyiwa Bakare, Sammie Omai, Tunde Ayeni, Eyimofe Atake, Biola Akinola, Anslem Tabansi, Niyi Adebayo, Prince Bolu Akin-Olugbade, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, Sujimoto, Layi Oriowo, Fola Ogunlesi, Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun, and many more.

The late Alao Arisekola must be turning in his grave as his family and other relatives shamelessly engage in a bitter squabble over his estate. Things have fallen apart in the household of late AbdulAzeez Alao Arisekola. The centre cannot hold again amid his vain and raucous clan. Trouble and disaster looms above the homestead of the late Ibadan billionaire as his 30 children, wives and extended family members slug it out in a no-holds barred contest for his estate.

Highlife findings revealed that the late billionaire’s children are divided into three camps, with each faction laying claims to his estate scattered across Ibadan, Oyo, Lagos and London, United Kingdom. While one of the groups is reportedly led by Khadijat Alao-Straub, Arisekola’s first daughter, the others have Ismaila, Arisekola’s first son and Abdullahi, the son of the late business mogul arraigned over allegation of N1.1billion oil subsidy scam. The children have been quarrelling with one another over who should control some of the properties, including their dad’s tank farms in Lagos and flour mill in Ibadan. Arisekola also has substantial investments in First Bank Plc among other blue chip companies in the country and these among other properties are being hotly contested by his wives, children and other relatives. Very Sad!

Adamu Aliero probably missed his vocation; the ex-governor and senator should have been an economist given his penchant for being economical with the truth. Immensely gifted in theatrics and subterfuge, Adamu has perfected his capacity for twisting truth into crooked forms.
Despite his humble background, Adamu grew to benefit immensely from the North Western region’s benevolent scholarship scheme. The North Western region’s scholarship scheme afforded him the opportunity to attend such institutions as the Aliero Town Planning School, after which he attended the Government Secondary School in Koko and graduated in 1976.

In 1981, he secured an administrative officer position at the College of Education in Sokoto. In the same year, he joined the Nigeria Customs and Excise Service before he ‘voluntarily’ resigned in 1997.
He later held various executive positions in Nigeria such as the Governor of Kebbi State, Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Minister of the FCT. Little wonder how he was able to build a 100,000 metric tonnes capacity rice mill in Labana.

Labana Rice Mill is situated in Kebbi State. Its 100,000 MT capacity makes it the third largest rice mill in the country. This sole mill in Kebbi State, owned by the distinguished senator, had been producing at 10 per cent capacity since its inauguration in 2012. This poses certain questions in a state that has 90,000 rice farmers ahead of states like Benue and Jigawa, according to a USAID report in April 2014.

However, rice farmers in Kebbi prefer to sell in Jigawa State, attributing their stance to government’s interference and price manipulation. Adamu, in order to get cheap rice for his mill, allegedly tried to arm-twist the farmers to sell at giveaway prices to him. The arrangement was resisted by the farmers who resorted to selling their produce in neighbouring states.
The farmers’ reaction scuttled his plans and rendered the policy a total failure. The farmers resisted the efforts of his handpicked successor who yet tried to intimidate the farmers. This singular action by the farmers sounded the death knell on Labana Rice Mills. But that is stale news.

What is news is that Senator Adamu, who chairs the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Import Duty Waivers, Concessions and Grants which investigated the indiscriminate use and abuse of waivers granted by the federal government to some organisations, while grandstanding and hugging the limelight with efforts to appear patriotic failed to mention that his company Labana was among those that were granted waivers. This negates the saying, “he who comes into equity must come with clean hands”. Hiding his company, which got waivers while making public names of other companies, is mockery of equity and fair play. He cannot sit as a juror at his own trial. There is a clear conflict of interest, making this a tainted inquiry. While grand standing, he should not fail to remember, that those who live in glass houses do not throw stones.