Otedola: I’ve No Interest in Lagos Guber Race

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By Gboyega Akinsanmi

The Chairman of Forte Oil Plc, Mr. Femi Otedola yesterday dissociated himself from some reports circulating on the social media that he had joined the 2019 race for Lagos House.

He also at a different forum, announced creation of a twitter handle thereby joining the league of very-high-net-worth personalities on the social media platform, Twitter.

His Twitter handle is @realfemiotedola. 

Otedola, son of a former governor of Lagos State, Sir Michael Otedola, commended Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode for aggressive infrastructure projects his administration had been executing.

He debunked the reports in a tweet on his official handle, @realFemiOtedola yesterday, claiming that he had no plan of joining the governorship race.

There had been speculations that Otedola would contest for public office with some analysts specifically claiming that he would run for Lagos governorship seat in the next election.

The report flooded the social media after a video showing the oil magnate in a popular Lagos commercial shuttle, Molue, surfaced online.

The report became rife after a tweet from a fake Twitter account that Otedola would challenge the incumbent governor in the next election.

The speculation contravened an earlier report in which Otedola endorsed Ambode for re-election, saying his great good works “have kept Lagos as the benchmark for other states to aspire to.”

According to him, “my attention has been drawn to a news piece where false information from a parody account was posted,” the tweet read.

He said: “I am a man of the people and I will always be on the side of the masses but I am stating clearly via this medium that I am not running for office.

“The Governor of Lagos State is doing a commendable job and Lagosians should be proud of him”.

In a statement on March 5, the oil magnate commended Ambode for his stewardship in the state despite the numerous challenges, the rest of the country, and the recent recession. 

According to his March 5 statement, as a Lagosian and omo Ibile  (child of original regions that make up Lagos), I wish to expressly commend and appreciate the great good works our amiable Governor Ambode is doing in our dear Lagos – Nigeria’s No. 1 state.

He said: “I have watched and followed keenly, in the almost last three years of the brilliant transformation projects across the state. No doubt, Ambode is building on the foundations laid by his good predecessors.

“He is building roads and bridges, schools and hospitals, water treatment plants, sewage and storm water drainages, solid waste management plants, and mass transportation infrastructure.”

Making the official announcement of his joining Twitter on Friday, Otedola said: “I am pleased to announce that I have finally joined Twitter.”

According to the oil and gas mogul, although joining Twitter might have come a bit late, he believed it was the right step to take.

“The importance of Twitter as a social utility cannot be overemphasised.  I understand I am a bit late to the party but better late than never,” he stated in a terse statement.

Otedola also disclosed that he had to take lessons from his daughters on how to use Twitter before finally deciding to engage with the world on the social media platform.

He continued: “After receiving some lessons from my daughters, I decided it was time to connect with the world on a personal level. I look forward to joining the conversation, tweeting and retweeting a lot about the issues that are most dear to the populace and of course, keeping you updated on my activities. You can follow my handle @realfemiotedola.”

As of the time of filing this report, Otedola had at least 1,633 followers and currently following his daughters, @cuppymusic, @shestolani, and @jtofashion.

Expressing her excitement at her father’s joining Twitter, his daughter @jtofashion tweeted: “Welcome to twitter Papa!!! @realfemiotedola.”   

Another of his girls, @shestolani, said on Twitter: “The man himself finally joined the Twitter universe! @realfemiotedola. Welcome, Papa bear!”

His close associate, Aliko Dangote, who joined Twitter in September 2013 has about 400,000 followers.