Contrary to reports, Ayo Karim, the billionaire CEO of Costain West Africa Plc, has denied having any rift with his brother over his governorship ambition.
For some time now, he has understandably become the target of sustained campaigns of calumny even from within his political family, the All Progressives Congress, APC. Curiously, he has been accused of betraying his elder brother, Kola, the wealthy Group Managing Director/CEO Shoreline Energy International, in the quest to govern Oyo State.
Speaking on the rumoured rift, a source close to the influential Karim family, however, said:Â â€œNothing can be further from the truth. Of course, we also have heard and read several of such puerile reports on the alleged rift between Ayo and Kola. It is laughable to us and to the brothers too. Those who know them know that from their childhood days, they have always been close and Ayo would never do anything without Kola and vice-versa. Ayo didnâ€™t wake up to say he just wanted to rule Oyo State.â€
The source further disclosed that Kola, an international businessman rated by the influential financial magazine, Forbes, in 2014, as one of the 10 most powerful men in Africa, did not at any point discuss a political move with the family. â€œKola is an intensely private man who would rather be behind the scenes, helping his brother achieve his promises to the people than put himself out there. There is no iota of truth to the rumours because both of them know that they are the pivot on which the entire family rests and that the success of one is the success of the other,â€ the source concluded.
Also, one of Kolaâ€™s associates said he would be taking a big risk to abandon his flourishing chains of businesses to take a dive into theÂ murky water of politics, adding that â€œKola would not take such a risk because his temperament and style do not suit the Nigerian political system. So, knowing Kola, and from our past discussions, his vote and money are on Ayo. There is no issue of double-crossing between them. The brothers are at peace and jointly working towards taking Oyo State to a level that would make even Governor Ajimobi proud of his choice as a successor.â€
Already, the race for the APC governorship ticket in Oyo State is beginning to hot up. But among the contestants, Ayo Karim is said to be the beautiful bride with his Ayo Ni O slogan, with which he has been preaching a message of quality representation and a brighter future for all and sundry; and the heat of his message is catching on like wildfire.
From all indications, he possesses all the attributes highlighted by the incumbent Governor Abiola Ajimobi, as prerequisites for his prospective successor.