Of Magnates And Puppeteers…How Mutual Friends Escalate The Impasse Between Aliko Dangote, Abdulsamad Rabiu

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Of Magnates And Puppeteers…How Mutual Friends Escalate The Impasse Between Aliko Dangote, Abdulsamad Rabiu

Of Magnates And Puppeteers…How Mutual Friends Escalate The Impasse Between Aliko Dangote, Abdulsamad Rabiu
November 12
20:01 2023

● The Agents of Discord Play Africa’s Richest Billionaires Like A Fiddle

Malicious blather often craves a gullible audience. While it persists, it rifles through every raucous din and pollutes every moment of silence. Gossip is food for the decayed mind. It is zombie-speak. You never hear it from people who are alive inside.

Yet gossip runs through the fabric of the daily lives of minions and even the most respected billionaires, tormenting their peace and ruining their joy. This minute, it consists of a major impediment to the blossoming of goodwill and camaraderie between billionaire magnates, Aliko Dangote and Abdulsamad Rabiu.

There is no love lost between the founders cum chairmen of the Dangote Group and BUA Group respectively.

Just recently, the alchemy of dangerous malice erupted between the duo for the umpteenth time as they the prominent moguls lay to waste the possibility of peace and reinforced their beef with ordinary trifles.

The founder and chairman of the BUA Group, Rabiu issued a much-publicised rejoinder to a 17-page editorial, sponsored by Dangote against him and his company. This followed months of sponsored campaigns of calumny against him using third-party platforms.

In the wake of their recent debacle, however, findings revealed that the billionaires’ protracted beef would have ended a long while ago but for the devious machinations of certain mutual friends of theirs who are profiting from their tiff.

These characters enjoy a very close relationship with both men and they have over time perfected their knack for poisoning both Rabiu and Dangote’s minds against each other.

“They put words in their mouths against each other. They hear from Dangote and tell Rabiu. They hear from Rabiu and tell Dangote. The thrust of their engagement with both men is hardly to resolve their lingering quarrel but to aggravate it,” revealed a very close mutual friend of both men.

Will Dangote and Rabiu ever reunite? The possibility of that happening is moot given the existence of the devious elements shuttling between them.

Occasionally, when both men meet or fraternise at an event as they did in June 2021, when they both attended the Choose France Summit, which was held in Versailles, France, they usually trigger speculations concerning the likelihood or unlikelihood of them burying the hatchet. But it’s always to no avail.

Beneath the plastic smiles and photo ops, there is a deep-seated animosity between Dangote and Rabiu. Aside from their Kano kinship, BUA Group and Dangote Group are leading players in the fast-moving consumer goods and cement sectors. And while Dangote is the richest African and black man in the world, Rabiu is the eighth richest African with an estimated USD3.13bn fortune. They are also two of Africa’s biggest philanthropists, donating significant chunks of their wealth to various humanitarian causes. But that is as far as the parallels go. As relationships go, the flames of mutual respect and kindred love have petered out between them.

No thanks to their mutual friends, who for curious reasons, have made it their mission to aggravate their conflict and frustrate every effort to reconcile the duo.

So invested are they in their quest to sustain an eternal rift between Dangote and Rabiu; consequently they go to extreme lengths to actualise this. For instance, it was discovered that many of the billionaires’ moves and countermoves against each other were triggered or insinuated into their minds by the agents of discord posing as their mutual friends.

Sources close to them revealed, for instance, that when Dangote and the chairman, of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, John Coumantaros, petitioned the former Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, that the establishment of a new sugar refinery plant in the country posed a threat to the attainment of the National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) and the sustainability of the country’s local sugar industry, it was a mutual friend of Dangote and Rabiu incited the former to take the step.

This shady character reportedly instigated Dangote to plot against Rabiu’s sugar venture by arguing that Nigeria had enough refining capacity to meet national demand. He also incited Dangote to protest the commissioning of a sugar refinery in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, owned by Rabiu’s BUA International, a major operator in the sugar industry.

An unsuspecting Dangote embraced the plot and urged Adebayo to prevail on the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure that the provisions of the NSMP were enforced and that no additional allocation of quota should be given for raw or refined sugar for the sugar refinery in Port Harcourt for local market production. Among other recommendations, they said no allocations should be issued or applications considered for quota intended to re-export sugar as this would be difficult to monitor and may be open to abuse.

Reacting, the BUA Group chairman said that his investment in Port Harcourt did not in any way pose a threat to the country’s sugar policy. Rather, he said that it would checkmate arbitrary price increases by the major players among other benefits to Nigeria. Minister Adebayo then issued a directive prohibiting the importation of sugar. However, according to credible sources, Adebayo was instructed to respect the rule of law and play fair. Later, a penitent Adebayo wrote to the Minister of Finance, rescinding his earlier directive while asking every agency of government concerned to maintain the status quo on the matter.

Both Dangote and Rabiu had not been seen together since then until their recent beef, which was triggered by the former’s sponsorship of a 17-page editorial against the latter’s business interests.

The recent incident was reportedly triggered by some friends of theirs. The latter reportedly dreads both Dangote and Rabiu’s rising profiles and he would rather see them crash and burn, cancelling each other out.

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